Hull seafood giant Andrew Marr International saw sales slip almost 10 per cent as it faced up to the dual impact of Covid and Brexit.
The sea-to-plate operator saw turnover fall from £744.7 million to £672 million in the year to March 31, 2021. Margins improved, with operating profit up from £11.3 million to £15.9 million.
Giving an overview in the chairman’s statement accompanying the recently-published results, Charles Marr described it as “another good year of further progress across all of our businesses with strong profits and underlying cashflows” for the Hessle-headquartered firm.
He said: “The group continues to invest in its fish catching operations in the UK. The group remains supportive of appropriate fishery management measures to ensure long-term sustainability of fish stocks.
“Brexit has proved to be an unsettling time for the UK fishing industry. However, the group intends to maintain constructive engagement with UK government, Defra and devolved administrations to navigate our way through these challenges and maximise UK industry advantage from UK status as an independent coastal state.”
There’s no better time to stay up to date with economic and business news from your region. By signing up for our daily newsletters, email breaking news alerts and weekly round-ups from all the major sectors, you get our journalism direct by email. To sign up, find out more and see all of our newsletters, follow the link here
Employee numbers dropped from 356 to 315 over the period, with staff praised “for their continued hard work and expertise throughout the year in difficult conditions”.
The group’s Grimsby-based Fastnet business, which trades frozen seafood in the UK, Europe and the Far East, “recorded a good result in the year despite challenging trading conditions and significant inflationary pressures in seafood products”.
Mr Marr said the business has “continued to expand its product range in the period in both retail and food service sectors and is well positioned for the future”.
Export element J Marr Seafoods “continued to extend its range of frozen commodities, and open up new markets in pelagic fish, meat and poultry in Sub-Saharan Africa”, while the Marrfish delivery business to restaurants pivoted to home-service through the lockdowns but is “well set and now looks to the future with optimism”.
Cold storage element AJK “performed well,” Mr Marr said.