Lobster giant partially owned by Indigenous bands delivering higher sales and profits

By Canadian Press

HALIFAX — A seafood giant that is half-owned by a coalition of East Coast First Nations is reporting a leap in annual sales, as 2022 revenues rose by $71.6 million compared to the year before.

George Paleologou, the chief executive of Premium Brands Holdings Inc., said during the company's fourth-quarter conference call that Clearwater Seafood's annual earnings reached a “record-breaking” level of $130 million on $604 million in revenues in 2022.

Much of the gain for Nova Scotia-based Clearwater came in the last three months of the year, as the firm increased sales by $50 million compared to same period the year before, according to results released Thursday by Premium — which is based in Vancouver.

The $1-billion investment in Clearwater led by the Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton and Miawpukek First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador was the largest ever by Indigenous communities in the Canadian seafood industry.

Clearwater harvests a variety of seafood, including scallops, lobster, clams and crab in Canada, Argentina and the United Kingdom, with sales in 48 countries around the world.

Premium attributed its higher revenues to strong prices for Clearwater's catch and higher sales volumes, noting they might have been even higher except for higher fleet fuel costs and wages.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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