Sealord appoints ex-McCain Food's exec Yung as new CEO
By Suze Metherell
July 24 (BusinessDesk) - Sealord Group has appointed former McCain Foods boss Steve Yung as its new chief executive, replacing Graham Stuart who is leaving after seven years in charge of New Zealand's second-largest fishing company.
Canadian-born Yung takes over from Stuart at the Nelson-based fishing next month, having with 30 years' experience in the food industry, most recently as managing director of McCain Foods Australia/New Zealand, Sealord in a statement. Yung will be based in Auckland.
Sealord chairman Matanuku Mahuika said Yung's skills will be used to further grow the business, particularly in the Australian market.
"He joins the business towards the end of what we expect to be a solid financial year in which Sealord returned to profit after the challenges of last year and is looking at opportunities to further improve its existing operations," Mahuika said.
Last year the fishing company, which is jointly owned by Maori iwi interests through Aotearoa Fisheries and Japan’s Nippon Suisan Kaisha, sank into the red as it crystallised a loss of $46.9 million on the 2012 sale of its Argentinian Yuken business for an undisclosed sum.
Sealord made a net loss of $44.3 million in the year ended Sept. 30, 2013, compared to a profit of $3.5 million a year earlier, as wrote off $37.1 million from its Argentina unit's sale, and incurred a further $9.9 million in operating losses, according to holding company Kura’s financial statements, lodged with the Companies Office.
The company is also selling its 50 percent stake in North Island Mussels, which it co-owns with NZX-listed Sanford. The two fishing groups increased their holdings in 2012, after the mussel business was placed in receivership when the owner of its one-third shareholder, Greenshell Investments, failed to pay $1.2 million in processing fees and associated debt.
Sanford has since bought further Greenshell NZ Ltd and Greenshell Investments assets from the receivers, with chief executive Volker Kuntzsch calling the assets “a strategic fit for Sanford’s aquaculture business as they allow for improved supplies from a wider geography".