29 Jan 2009

Fishing company expects trading to improve

8:17 am on 29 January 2009

Sanford says it expects to improve its trading result this financial year, despite the uncertain economic environment.

The listed fishing company told shareholders at its annual meeting that uncertainty seems to be easing and demand from its bigger customers is returning.

Sanford says lower demand and price resistance has limited the benefits of the fall in the value of the New Zealand dollar and lower fuel prices.

In addition, the company says some New Zealand-based exporters have acted as price-takers, to the detriment of the wider industry.

Despite the conditions, it says sales values for the first quarter matched those of the same period the previous year

While the extent to which that is indicative of the full year result is unknown, managing director Eric Barratt says he expects factors in its favour to help deliver a better trading result.

He says in the past month there's been a reduction in the level of uncertainty among its customers.

Mr Barrat says demand from some of the more substantial buyers is returning to higher levels, although they are continuing to seek price reductions to reflect changes in exchange rates.