Hitting restaurants and beaches in droves following months of pandemic lockdowns, the Australian love for seafood saw increased demand for organic oysters farmed by Angel Seafood (ASX: AS1) which is set to double its annual supply in coming years through new breeding facilities.
Angel Seafood will shortly commence construction of their FlipFarming project at Coffin Bay, South Australia which is the latest innovation in oyster farming, powered by semi-automation. Bred in interconnected baskets that protect oysters from pests, predators and over fouling, FlipFarming reduces the need for human labour with basket chains that can be rapidly flipped and collected by a floating vehicle.
Initially, Angel Seafood had plans to outsource their on-water construction of the farm but due to long waiting times from suppliers, the Company will proceed to construct using in-house resources. This has commenced with the purchase of a jack-up barge with construction to commence before the end of March.
In addition to their FlipFarm, Angel’s ‘summer oysters’ breeding trial, which commenced in December 2020, has delivered good survival rates with the crop on track for sale by January 2022. This increased capacity bred at one of the harsher seasonal times for breeding is expected to increase annual sales by 10-15% with no additional capital expenditure.
“Although it is still early days with our FlipFarming and ‘summer oysters’ trials, I am excited about the early progress, and the potential productivity and efficiency gains these will generate for Angel,” said CEO and Founder, Zac Halman.
“With the summer spawning period now behind us, and with a strong supply of healthy oysters in stock, the Angel team is completely focused on its sales program.
“Despite the later start in sales compared to the prior season, I am pleased to see the sales momentum we experienced last year continue into 2021 across both the retail and restaurant channels, and we expect this to continue into the busy Easter trade period.”
For the Half-Year ended 31 December 2020, Angel Seafood was adversely affected by restaurant closures through snap lockdowns in response to COVID-19 cases. This resulted in a 24% decline in Year-on-Year revenue to $3.76 million however the aquaculture company remained profitable with net profit after tax up 85% to $718k over the same period.
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