Thai Union Group gross profit up 13% in 2nd quarter
Seafood giant Thai Union Group PCL reported a 13.1% year-on-year rise in its second-quarter gross profit to 5.364 billion baht (US$174.424 million), thanks to stronger performances from the frozen seafood, as well as the value-added product and pet-care, business.

The strong gross profit resulted in a stronger EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) at 15.4% compared with the same period last year and an interim dividend of Bt0.25 per share.

Consolidated sales during the quarter declined 4.6% year-on-year to Bt32.2 billion ($1.048 billion) due to the Thai currency's appreciation, the depreciation of EU currencies and lower raw material prices.

Thai Union's ambient seafood sales in the second quarter totalled Bt14.031 billion ($456.676 million), down 14.3% year-on-year, while gross profit was up 9.1% year-on-year. The sales contribution from the frozen and chilled seafood business increased 3.6% year-on-year to Bt13.435 billion ($437.317 million), driven mainly by volume growth of 10% from the same period last year.

In the first half of 2019, gross profit was up 19.9% year-on-year. During this six-month period, North America contributed 39% of total sales, followed by Europe at 29%, the Thai domestic market at 12%, and other markets at 19%.

"Profitability remains a key focus for us at Thai Union, and the overall performance in the second quarter was pleasing, particularly in a challenging operating environment," said Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union.

"As we look ahead, Thai Union will continue to see new innovative products developed and launched into market, which will provide us with new revenue streams as we work to build a business with sustainable growth."

Thai Union officially opened last June its new Global Innovation Centre in Bangkok, which employs more than 160 scientists and researchers from around the world.