Thai Union shows ongoing resilience with strong, profitable 1Q2021
published : 10 May 2021 at 17:29
Net profit jumped 77% to THB 1.8 billion on solid performance from frozen seafood, PetCare and value-added businesses
BANGKOK – May 10, 2021 – Thai Union Group showed ongoing resilience in the first quarter of 2021, supported by continued customer trust and demand for its healthy and nutritious human and pet food products, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued globally.
The company ended the first quarter of the year with net profit of THB 1.8 billion, a 77% year-on-year increase, while sales held steady with a 0.1% increase to THB 31.1 billion compared to the first quarter of 2020. The strong net profit was buoyed by a resurgence in the company’s frozen operations, especially in the U.S., the PetCare and value-added businesses, prudent cost management and FX gains.
“Resilience is absolutely critical during a global pandemic such as COVID-19 and, throughout this crisis, Thai Union has worked incredibly hard to carefully manage our global business -15 brands, 14 production locations and 10 corporate offices in 16 countries around the world,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO at Thai Union Group. “Our ability to be flexible and adapt quickly to the rapidly evolving situation has been a key to our business: not just to continue remaining healthy but to also grow. This has created awareness and trust among our staff, clients and customers that we have the capability and willingness to continue serving them in any situation.”
During the first quarter, the frozen and chilled seafood business rebounded, increasing 10.3% year-on-year to THB 12.1 billion, with a particularly strong performance in the U.S., Thai Union’s largest market, where food services improved substantially.
PetCare, value-added and others business were also major contributors during the quarter, with sales up 20.8% year-on-year to THB 5.5 billion. Although the ambient seafood business reported a 13.1% decline in sales to THB 13.6 billion compared to the unusual first quarter of 2020 when people stocked up on canned food at the beginning of COVID-19 - 1Q2021 ambient seafood sales showed an increase of 0.9% compared to the pre-covid 1Q2019.
As part of its commitment to Healthy Living and Healthy Oceans, Thai Union continued to focus on innovation, a key driver of the business. In the first quarter the company launched alternative protein products like OMG MEAT in Thailand, as well as ingredients from tuna co-products such as UNIQBONE tuna bone powder.
The company also announced a pioneering commitment to full supply-chain transparency in its global supply chains through its partnership with The Nature Conservancy, a core component of its efforts to address widespread illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing practices. Thai Union also announced that it is taking part in the Ocean Disclosure Project, a global platform where seafood businesses publicly share details on the sourcing of their seafood, as part of its commitment to transparency.
Thai Union also closed its inaugural Sustainability-Linked Syndicated Loan (SLL) in both Thailand and Japan earlier this year, another step forward for Blue Finance – financing related to projects that benefit the oceans.
During the quarter, Thai Union continued its activities in the food tech sector and announced its investment in BlueNalu Inc. through its venture fund. California-based BlueNalu is one of the world’s leading cell-based seafood companies, using innovative ways to produce premium fish products directly from the cells of fish which are equivalent to conventional products in terms of its taste, texture, and nutritional profile.
The company also continued to focus on helping those communities impacted by the ongoing devastating COVID-19 pandemic through product donations during the quarter. This included delivering more than 40,000 servings of cat food across Thailand, more than 30,000 servings of food to communities impacted by COVID-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, along with 500 fans and 250 power strips to support a hospital caring for COVID-19 patients.
“At Thai Union, we have made a commitment to ‘Healthy Living, Healthy Oceans’, placing great emphasis on providing quality, nutritious products to consumers while working very hard on caring for the environment and our oceans for the benefit of future generations,” Chansiri said. “We appreciate the continued trust and confidence our customers, supply chain ecosystem and consumers have placed in us, and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our business fundamentals remain healthy.”