New Zealand King Salmon, which listed last October after raising $70 million selling shares, posted a 52 per cent gain in first-half profit and said it was on track to meet its prospectus target for the full year.

Net profit rose to $8.7m, or 7 cents a share, in the six months ended December 31, from $5.7m, or 5 cents, a year earlier, the Nelson-based company said in a statement. Sales rose to $63.6m from $56.6m.

The company, which is 40 per cent owned by Malaysia's Oregon Group, sold 3,400 tonnes of gilded and gutted salmon in the first half, up 13 per cent from a year earlier, while export volumes climbed 19 per cent. King Salmon's fortunes partly rest on the outcome of a proposal to relocate up to six of its salmon farms within the Marlborough Sounds to ensure they continue to meet environmental standards, a process the government announced in January was being put out for consultation.

"The first four months since listing have given us a good platform for future growth," said chairman John Ryder. "We are positive about the future of the company and its global potential, and we are on track with our investment in new farm capacity and operational upgrades to support this strategy."


Of the $70m raised in the initial public offering, $30m was new capital to repay debt and fund investments while the remainder went to existing shareholders who sold down their holdings, including Oregon and Direct Capital. The IPO attracted new shareholders including food investor China Resources Ng Fung, which acquired about 10 per cent of the company. Today King Salmon said Ng Fung director Wang Xin had been appointed to its board.

King Salmon is projecting revenue of $130.1m in the year ending June 30, 2017, for a profit of $10m, compared to a $2.6m profit on sales of $114.1m in 2016.

The company will pay an interim dividend of 2 cents a share on March 24, which it said was in line with its prospectus forecast.

The shares last traded at $1.36 and have gained 24 per cent since listing.