On January 05, 2017, Vinh Hoan forecast its 2016’s consolidated revenue and net profit after tax at VND7,200 billion ($327.3 million) and VND500 billion ($22.73 million), up 11 and 70 per cent year-on-year respectively. In which, total export revenue is expected to reach $274 million, up 5 per cent year-on-year. Considering the Vietnam pangasius industry’s year-on-year growth of 6.6 per cent as estimated by Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, Vinh Hoan has outperformed most of its peers.
2016 was a year marked challenges and breakthroughs in both supply and export market conditions.
The most notable market challenge of 2016 came in April, when the US, which is Vietnam’s largest market accounting for 23 per cent of exports, implemented transitional enforcement of the “Catfish Inspection Programme”. This new programme, which will take away regulatory responsibility from the FDA and pass it to the USDA, comes with a myriad of new regulations and an equivalency requirement of the exporting countries’ inspection authority to that of the USA. These unprecedented changes have caused tremendous confusion throughout the global seafood industry.
On the supply side, March marked the most devastating drought the Mekong River Delta witnessed in the past century, bringing forth unfavourable salinity levels. These conditions forced smaller harvesting windows, causing abnormal spikes in raw material pricing. Vietnamese pangasius farmers will remember 2016 as the year marked by many erratic and unexpected fluctuations.
Nevertheless, industry performance stayed strong, with high growth in major markets (for example the US: 22.2 per cent, and China: 84.4 per cent). China even surpassed Europe to become the second largest importer of Vietnamese pangasius, accounting for 17 per cent of the total export. Total production volume in 2016 was estimated at 1.2 million tonnes, up 9 per cent year-on-year; and the farming acreage increased to 5,000 hectares. After the sluggish period from 2008-2015 with an annual growth rate of merely 1 per cent, the industry for the first time saw a recovery in 2016 with a 6.6 per cent growth rate.
With nearly a 20-year experience in the industry, Vinh Hoan continues to set higher targets and long-term strategies to capture the market opportunities. In the face of these supply and market challenges, Vinh Hoan continued its long track record of stable growth and continued to lay the foundation in innovative market strategies, new product development and sustainable farming techniques.
Besides increasing its foothold in existing markets, the company’s successful market strategy allowed it to open direct sales channels and forge into new markets. During 2016, it entered 5 new markets, increasing its total sales network to 170 customers in over 40 countries. Mexico and China reported a high-record year-on-year growth of 73 and 137 per cent, respectively; and the most notable direct sale channel opened up with the first sale of pangasius fillets to Mercadona- Spain’s largest retailer.
In 2016, a range of new value-added products were introduced, notably the basa teriyaki - its first ready-to-eat product. In December, the first “Vinh Foods” branded product was debuted to Spanish consumers.
In terms of sustainable farming, Vinh Hoan’s self-supply ratio reached nearly 65 per cent and saw total ASC-certified farm area reaching 115ha, the largest of that in Vietnam.
Also, with the establishment of Vinh Aquaculture - a division specialised in sustainable farming, Vinh Hoan will deepen the research and development into eco-friendly and economically sustainable aquaculture at a larger scale to satisfy increasingly rigorous technical requirements from importing countries.
With these all-encompassing approaches, Vinh Hoan has maintained its annual export growth rate at 12 per cent for the last 5 years. For 2017, Vinh Hoan targets 15 per cent growth in pangasius exports and $5 million in value-added products revenue, a 50 per cent increase on 2016.