02/18/2015 02:00 EST | Updated 04/20/2015 05:59 EDT

Weak loonie, restructuring costs hit High Liner bottom line, offset sales growth

LUNENBURG, N.S. - High Liner Foods says its annual sales surpassed the $1-billion mark for the first time ever in 2014 as two recent acquisitions offset the negative effect of a weaker Canadian dollar and higher one-time costs.

The Nova Scotia-based frozen seafood company's sales in the fourth quarter were up 6.5 per cent from the same year-earlier period at US$266.9 million, while annual sales rose 11 per cent or $104.3 million to $1.05 billion.

The company, which has its head office in Lunenburg, N.S., says unfavourable foreign exchange rates cut the value of its sales by US$10 million in the fourth quarter and US$31.9 million for the 2014 financial year, which ended Jan. 3.

High Liner (TSX:HLF) reports its results in U.S. dollars but about 30 per cent of its sales and costs are in Canadian dollars.

Fourth-quarter and annual profit last year were down from 2013 as a result of the currency flux and higher costs related to acquisitions and the scheduled closure of a plant in Massachusetts.

Net income for the quarter fell 35.6 per cent from a year earlier to US$5.6 million, while annual net income dropped 3.4 per cent to $30.3 million.

Adjusted net income was down 24 per cent to $9.1 million in the quarter, equal to 29 cents per share, and by six per cent to US$38.8 million or $1.24 per share for the 2014 financial year.

In the financial year ended Dec. 28, 2013, High Liner's annual sales were US$$947.3 million, including $250.7 million in the fourth quarter. Net income was $31.3 million, including $8.8 million in the fourth quarter, and adjusted net income was $41.3 million, including $11.9 million in the fourth quarter.