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MK Engineering Co.: Orders of Tuna/Bonito Processing Plants Coming from Overseas in Droves

February 14, 2011

A Yaizu-based company, MK Engineering Co. boasts records of achievements all around Japan. Recently, the company has been taking on more orders for processing plants coming one after another from China, S. Korea, South America, as well as Singapore.

MK Engineering has a wide array of plant relevant apparatuses, including various table saws, shapers, lifters, burning appliances, cleaning/defrosting/sterilizing machines, various processing devices, and conveyers. The main processing devices for bonito and tuna, i.e. table saws, shapers, and machines for seared bonito in particular are manufactured by the company itself. Keeping in mind productivity and HACCP, the company harnesses self-invented technologies.

Undertaking Processing Plant in Singapore

MK Engineering provides an integrated service that covers the following services: preliminary design and meeting with construction companies; estimate calculation and order acceptance; design/manufacturing and delivery; and construction management.

With this expertise in the field, the company has taken on bonito processing plants for 17 companies and negitoro (toro with scallion) plants for six establishments. The company is deemed to be a highly trustworthy company to do business with by bonito/tuna processors.

The company's reputation in Japan reaches overseas and orders keep coming in from China, S. Korea, South America, as well as Singapore.

President Masao Yamada said, "We are well accepted as a specialist of bonito/tuna processing machinery. We even provide services that include designing plant layouts and selecting appropriate machines and their allocations, keeping in mind a smooth flow of plant operation. Our track record of success and high reputation in Japan stretch out to overseas and we are receiving great feedback on our involvement in tuna processing plants in foreign countries."

The original article was published on February 14, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Nichirei's 3rd Quarter Posts 172% Profit Increase in Processed Foods

February 9, 2011

The Q3 results posted by Nichirei were sales \337.1 billion with a drop of 0.5 percent; operating proceeds \15.1 billion with a jump of 13 percent; ordinary earnings \14.6 billion with a rise of 19 percent; and net income \8.7 billion with a 9.9 percent leap. The sales decreased \1.8 billion compared to the corresponding period a year ago. Proceeded Foods business reported revenues declined as the outcome of focusing on certain products and transferring its acerola beverage operation. In contrast, Livestock business registered an increase in proceeds; Logistics Network business in the Logistics division was a big contributor that brought the overall earnings of the group up and maintained the last year's level of revenues. The operating profit soared by \1.7 billion. Notwithstanding that Logistics reported a loss of \300 million stemmed from depreciation of a distribution center and reduced inventory volumes, Processed Foods business benefitted from lowered product and raw material procurement costs and ameliorated productivity, leading to a \2.7 billion profit. In Processed Foods business, prepared frozen foods for home use exhibited strong performance in comparison to the previous fiscal term; however commercial grade cooked frozen foods suffered lost sales after narrowing products. And yet, raw material procurement costs and purchasing prices of overseas products showed some stability and improved productivity helped its operating profit move upwards, ending in a significant 172 percent growth from \1.576 billion last year to \4.282 billon.

Marine Products Business Posts 25% Profit Gain Thanks to Expanded Shrimp Sales

Marine Products business sales volume maintained the amount of \54 billion, the level of the last year's record; however its operating profit leaped 25 percent from \800 million to \1 billion. Southeast Asian shrimp grew in quantity and value. Logistics cited swollen revenues and contracted profits. While freight movement seemed reinvigorated and "special procurements" from fueled sales in ice cream during summer occurred, after summer more clients became hesitant to keep more-than-necessary inventories at an accelerating rate and an exploding price war inflicted a plunge in unit prices. Its sales volume rose 0.2 percent to \106.4 billion, in contrast operating earnings marked \6.469 billion with a fall of 5.3 percent.

The company's forward-looking statements about the current fiscal year are sales of \435.2 billion (down 0.7 YOY), operating proceeds of \17 billion (up 1.1 percent), ordinary income of \16 billion (up 3.6 percent), and net earnings of \6.3 billion (down 30.5 percent).

The original article was published on February 9, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Kyokuyo's 3Q Indicates Dropped Profits Despite 11% Increase in Sales

February 7, 2011

Kyokuyo posted its third quarter business statement as follows: sales \125.4 billion, up 11 percent compared to the previous year; operating profit \1.451 billion, down 24.3 percent; ordinary proceeds \1.646 billion, down 27.4 percent; and net gain \618 million, down 37.8 percent.

The Marine Products Purchasing pulled off rises in revenue and income. The Cooked Frozen Food Business marked increased sales, yet stagnant gains. The Canned Food Business performance remained unchanged from the previous year. Logistics suffered lackluster running of ocean transportation operations, leading to the red in this segment. Tuna operations posted positive revenue, but contracted gains.

The Marine Products Purchasing, other than selling marine products as raw materials, produces fillets and cut pieces of flounder, arabesque greenling, mackerel, and salmon. The division also enhanced added value of crab and shrimp by using an easy-peel method.

The Processed Marine Products Business further strengthened business relationships with leading sushi boat chains and mass retailers for sushi topping products, and expanded sales of boneless fillets, broiled fish, and cooked fish that were manufactured at its subcontract factory in Thailand with a revamped production system.

The Cooked Frozen Food Business increased sales of crab flavored kamaboko and proceeded shrimp products at the end of the calendar year, nonetheless it was not enough to compensate for the slowed performance up to the second quarter. The Canned Food Business, in the midst of soaring raw material and ingredient prices, focused its efforts on sales of mainly canned seafood and marine specialty foods.

In the Logistics, cold storage operations exhibited healthy results in sales and profit; in contrary, chilled transportation operations suffered banana production curtailment in South America and stagnating ocean transportation fees.

The Tuna Business shored up its integrated system by establishing a raw material procurement system from fishing to farming, to purchasing, to importing, and by supplying fresh and chilled products other than frozen. Far seas fishery operations enjoyed the benefit of increased catches, ending in swollen revenues; nevertheless, its profit went below the last year's owing to lower bonito prices and increased expenses. Its bluefin farming business has been going without a hitch.

The company's plan for the whole business year is sales of \160 billion, up 9.8 percent, operating earnings of \2.3 billion, up 5.5 percent, ordinary profit of \2.2 billion, down 13.8 percent, and net income of \900 million, down 17.2 percent.

The original article was published on February 7, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Nippon Suisan's 3Q: Seafood and Food Operations Rake in Revenues

February 7, 2011

Nippon Suisan cited its third quarter business performance (April to December 2010): revenue and operating profit exhibited increases; however ordinary gain and the quarterly net income fell short of the previous year. The company posted sales of \370.3 billion, up 1.3 percent; operating earnings of \7.86 billion, up 16.3 percent; ordinary proceeds of \5.644 billion, down 9.7 percent; and net income of \2.192 billion, down 0.2 percent.

In the Marine Products Business, sales increased \2.9 billion to \138.8 billion and operating earnings grew \1.356 billion to \686 million. At the division of fishery business, in addition to contracted landings in Japan due to irregular seawater temperatures, flagship fish of hoki and micromesistius australis significantly fell in South America. Aquaculture business experienced an outstanding drop in shrimp production in Asia; nevertheless the output of adult yellowtail soared in Japan and production of salmon and trout in South America witnessed increases in quantity and unit price. Processed seafood sales business saw a decline in cod roe from North America and its unit price; yet sales in crab, salmon/trout, and whitefish spiked in Japan. Hakata Marukita Suisan, Netuno International, S.A. (S. America), and Nordic Seafood (Europe) became consolidated subsidiaries.

The Processed Food Business reported sales in the amount of \193.4 billion, a jump of \1.185 billion and operating profit in the amount of \3.536 billion, a fall of \372 million. Despite the fact that Delmar became a consolidated subsidiary, as a whole retail prices dropped and expenses rose. Home use frozen foods and shelf-stable foods raked in revenues. Fish sausage and kneaded fish products suffered skyrocketing costs of raw materials. Noodle products for convenience stores showed strong performance. In North America, a company specializing in commercial-grade prepared frozen seafood manufacturing displayed positive results of business improvement efforts.

The Fine Chemicals Business registered sales of \19 billion, up \1.578 billion, and operating earnings of \4.36 billion, up 754 million. The General Distribution Business posted sales of \8.915 billion, a decline of \49 million, and operating earnings of \1.234 billion, a decrease of \297 million.

The projected performance for the current fiscal year is sales \505 billion, up 4.9 percent, operating earnings \9.5 billion, up 52.8 percent, ordinary proceeds \7.5 billion, up 21.5 percent, and net income \3 billion, which was \44 million last year.

The original article was published on February 7, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Maruha Nichiro's 3Q: Fishery Operation's Profit Grows 4.6 Times

February 2, 2011

The Maruha Nichiro Holdings' third quarter results (April through December 2010) indicated a slight increase in sales and a considerable hike in profit.

Compared to the same period last year, sales recorded a 0.3 percent jump to \640.3 billion. Operating profit marked a 55.4 percent hike to \17 billion. Ordinary earnings also leaped 73.5 percent to \14.9 billion. The 3Q net income ended in \6.962 billion, up 61.9 percent, as a result of \3.675 billion reported as an extraordinary loss on bad and doubtful debts.

Logistics and Strategic Sales Units Register Declined Profits

The Fisheries Operations reported sales of \407.1 billion, up 0.4 percent on a year-on-year basis, and operating earnings of \8.796 billion, a significant rise of 462 percent.

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Unit, despite relentless hardships faced by fisheries, managed to pull off increased revenue and profit because of improved market prices for tuna, adult yellowtail, and amberjack and increased transaction amounts. Although Bering Sea pollack fishing quotas were reduced two seasons in a row brought less fish supply, the North America Operation Unit racked up swollen profits thanks to the rejuvenated domestic surimi market. The Marine Products Tradings Unit experienced strong performance of the main commodities, as shrimp, crab, octopus, and squid. With the help of the recovered tuna market conditions, this unit announced rises in both revenue and profit.

Notwithstanding that unit prices were going up, market circulation amounts struggled to grow. In addition, port auction prices of farmed fish jumped, leading the Storage and Logistics Unit to tumbled revenue and profit. The Strategic Sales Unit constantly expanded sales, however failed to shift higher purchase unit prices for mass retailers and foodservices to selling prices, resulting in increased revenue and decreased profit.

The Food Operations reported sales in the amount of \214.9 billion, up 1.3 percent YOY and operating proceeds in the amount of \9.5 billion, down 12.4 percent. The Frozen Food Business Unit managed to secure sales similar to last year, nevertheless profit suffered due to higher costs of some raw materials and a reduced uptime ratio of some group companies. In the Processed Foods Business Unit, plunging canned food prices, slumped sales of gift items, fueled raw material prices, and stagnant sales in fish sausages all laid the ground for tumbles in revenue and gain.

The Storage/Logistics Operation marked sales of \10.8 billion, a decline of 7.1 percent and operating earnings of \694 million, a contraction of 41.8 percent. Though warehousing volume went as planned, busy delivery schedules created lower inventories than the previous year, affecting gains of chilled warehouse operations. In a bid to cover the losses, other operations, such as transportation and customs clearance operations, made extra efforts, but never offset the losses.
The forward-looking numbers for the whole fiscal year are sales of \850 billion, up 2.6 percent; operating earnings of \18 billion, up 67.2 percent; ordinary proceeds of \14 billion, up 80.6 percent; and net income of \4.5 billion, up 183 percent.

The original article was published on February 2, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Maruha Nichiro Suisan's Bluefin Farming

January 25, 2011

New Farming Site at Kushimoto with a goal of 2,300 tons by 2014

Maruha Nichiro Susian (President Shigeru Ito) has three bluefin farming grounds - two sites at Amami Oshima, Kagoshima, and one at Kumano, Mie. This spring the company is slated to set up a new farming location with a scale of 700 tons at Kushimoto, Wakayama.

In the previous year, the company established Kushimoto Marine Farm as of November 12, 2010. 16 corves with 80 m x 48 m were installed after the company invested \1.6 billion in this project. The site as a single bluefin farming ground is the largest in the nation.

The installation of the corves will be completed by March and fries will be released into them during April and May. The Kumano fish farm owned by the company will provide fries raised there for six months to the new farming site, and therefore at the earliest the fish will be shipped out in two years.

The company plans to raise the fish up to 50-55 kg, one size bigger than a regular size of 40 kg. Having Kumano Yogyo and the Katsuura Office of Taiyo A&F as neighbors, the new bluefin farmland will compete the Maruha Nichiro Group's bluefin brand.

The current total output of Amami Oshima and Kumano amounts to approx. 1,300 tons. Amami Yogyo, a group company, operates two farming grounds, the main site near the Oshima Belt, the south of Amami Oshima, and the Shinokawa Office located at Setonai-cho, Oshima-gun.

Picture 1: Parent fish of bluefin tuna
Picture 2: Farm ground in Amami Oshima

The original article was published on January 25, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

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