Oceana’s hard work pays off as it repays an additional R283 million US debt

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Group CFO Zaf Mahomed explains that the recent US debt refinance will strengthen Oceana’s balance sheet.

Oceana’s recent focus on debt reduction has paid off as it announced an additional $15 million (R283 million) repayment of the debt it incurred when it acquired US-based Daybrook Fisheries in 2015.

“It’s good to see all the hard work pay off and translate into a reduction in debt,” says group CFO Zaf Mahomed, who is “really enjoying the new role”.

Read more: Oceana Group brings in turnaround specialist Zaf Mahomed as CFO-designate

Oceana recently announced that it has seen its best interim results in five years. In an interview with CFO South Africa, Zaf mentioned that debt reduction was a means to strengthen the company’s balance sheet which was prudent, given the current high-interest rate environment.

Read more: Oceana sees best interim results in five years, says CFO Zaf Mahomed

According to Zaf, the group’s strong financial performance and Daybrook’s strong cash generation over the past 12 months enabled the additional debt repayment as part of its recent US debt refinance.

“We are also pleased that we were able to renegotiate better covenant terms with our US lender group, which puts us in an ideal position to manage working capital more efficiently,” he adds.

This follows the R550 million payment Oceana made in June, using most of the proceeds from the sale of its cold storage business, Zaf explains.

“The now stronger balance sheet will enable Oceana to invest in its business, particularly in the South African fleet, which has secured 15-year fishing rights. It also allows us to explore other growth opportunities,” he concludes.

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