Fish & Seafood

FRoSTA Sales Up, Volume Down as Uncertainty Looms Ahead

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Bremerhaven, Germany-headquartered FRoSTA AG reported €263 million in first-half sales for 2019, up 3.8% year-over-year in value despite volume slippage and a 3.9% decline in seafood sales.

Meanwhile, uncertainty awaits in the second half, as weather woes and likely price increases for raw materials including Alaska pollock blocks loom on the horizon for the producer and marketer of frozen vegetables, fruits and herbs as well ready meals, value-added seafood dishes, fish fingers and fillets.

“Due to the dry summer, the first harvests were very bad. The further development of purchase prices for Alaskan pollock and other whitefish species as well as US dollar effects remain uncertain,” FRoSTA explained in a statement.

The company, which was founded in 1905 and today operates three factories in Germany and one in Poland, employs over 1,700 people and rang up total sales of €509 million last year. In addition to packing proprietary brand name products, it supplies private labels to retailers and co-packs for industrial customers throughout Europe.

Main shareholders of FRoSTA, which is listed on the Frankfurt exchange, are Executive Board Chairman Felix Ahlers (33.5%) and his father, Supervisory Board Chairman Dirk Ahlers (10%). Shares closed at €58.50 on July 30, when this story was filed. Year to date stock value is down by -29.09%.

Production of fish sticks is a specialty at FRoSTA’s Bremerhaven factory. The plant, which employs approximately 600 people, also produces fish fillet dishes, battered and pastry items and sauces.