Thai Union Group PCL today announced robust fourth quarter and all-time high annual financial results for 2021, driven by an ongoing recovery in its frozen and chilled business along with continued strong demand for its pet food products. This record sales performance validates the Company’s long-term strategies, financial discipline and focus on profitability.
Sales during the fourth quarter of 2021 reached an all-time high of THB 38.5 billion, a 15.1 percent year-on-year increase, thanks to a rebound in the frozen and chilled seafood business following the reopening of food service, restaurants and hotels in the U.S. as COVID-19 restrictions eased. Continued strong sales from the PetCare and value-added business helped lift Thai Union’s fourth quarter net profit 32.5 percent to THB 1.9 billion, and came despite global supply chain disruptions.
Ambient sales over the final three months of the fiscal year grew 4.9 percent compared to a year earlier on the back of higher selling prices, with frozen sales surging 21.0 percent on the back of a robust food service recovery, and PetCare and value-added sales growing an exceptional 27.2 percent thanks to strong demand for products from its growing customer portfolio.
For the full year, Thai Union reported record business performance, with net profit surging 28.3 percent to THB 8.0 billion. Total sales were up 6.5 percent to THB 141.0 billion compared to a year earlier, while gross profit rose 9.9 percent to THB 25.7 billion.
Thai Union announced a 2H21 final dividend of THB 0.50 per share, bringing the full year dividend to THB 0.95 per share, the highest level ever.
“I am extremely proud of Thai Union’s record full-year 2021 performance, including all-time high revenue and solid net profit, achieved amid an ongoing pandemic and driven by our ongoing profitability and strong sales. Our long-term strategy of strengthening our core businesses while building value-enhancing new operations, along with financial discipline focused on profitability and sustainability, helped drive these excellent 2021 financial results,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union Group PCL. “Over the past year we worked very hard to achieve strong business momentum and drive business diversification. As a result, we raised our dividend and maintained the debt ratio at 0.99x.”
Thai Union’s management team helped ensure the business weathered the ongoing pandemic and emerged stronger and in even better financial health. While the pandemic remained a key focus, the Company continued to look to the future, finalizing a number of important strategic investments in businesses across Europe and Southeast Asia over the year, which will be essential in driving future growth. Thai Union also established Thai Union Lifescience last year, which will be responsible for distributing supplements to consumers in that fast-growing segment.
During the 2021 year, Group subsidiary Thai Union Feedmill successfully listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, which will support its growth and expansion across Asia. An increased focus on Thai Union’s fast-growing pet food business resulted in Songkla Canning Public Company Limited (SCC) becoming i-Tail Corporation Public Company Limited (ITC), which is now the official business for all Thai Union pet-related operations. Thai Union is gearing up for an initial public offering for i-Tail, and plans to list its pet food business subsidiary on the Stock Exchange of Thailand later this year.
Sustainability remains at the heart of the Thai Union business, and the Company was pleased to be named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the eighth straight year and rank second in the world on the Food Products Industry Index in 2021. To maintain its global leadership in this area, Thai Union appointed Adam Brennan as the Company’s new Group Director of Sustainability.
In 2021, Thai Union paved the way in Thailand for Blue Finance – financing that has sustainability targets to benefit the oceans and where interest rates are linked to key performance indicators and sustainability performance targets. The Company issued sustainability-linked loans (SLLs) and sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) totalling THB 27 billion, and set a target of securing 75 percent of its long-term financing as Blue Finance by the end 2025.
While COVID-19 caused further disruptions to the business globally as new strains of the virus emerged, Thai Union continued to prioritize the health and safety of its workers as well as to support the communities where it operates. “Equally important to our business last year was ensuring that our most important asset, our colleagues around the world – from Asia to Africa and Europe to North America – remained healthy and safe as we navigated our way through the pandemic,” Chansiri said. “Through our global Thai Union Cares program, the Company has also so far donated almost 4-million servings of human and pet food, along with medical supplies and financial assistance, to those in need since the pandemic started in late 2019.”
Thai Union continued to focus on its portfolio by expanding its core operations to include higher margin and new value-enhancing businesses such as ingredients, supplements and alternative protein to serve those fast-growing markets. “This focus corresponds with our ‘Healthy Living, Healthy Oceans’ commitment to support healthy consumer trends and innovation-driven products,” Chansiri said.
“While challenges remain – from inflation to the ongoing pandemic, and from supply chain issues to container shortages – in 2022 we will continue to build on the financial successes and record performance we delivered in 2021,” he concluded.