SINGAPORE (Mar 1): Oceanus Group has reported its first full-year profit in five years.

The producer of live and processed marine products reported full-year earnings of RMB176.1 million ($36.8 million) in FY17 from a loss of RMB62.2 million in FY16 on higher one-off items.

Oceanus reported non-operating income of RMB243.8 million over the year as compared to none in FY16 mainly due to RMB94 million compensation received in relation to the disposal of the group’s Gulei Farms to the China government, as well as a reversal of derivative liabilities worth RMB150 million with the cancellation of warrants as at Dec 31 2017 due to the completion of a debt restructuring exercise.

Revenue for the full year doubled to RMB21 million from RMB10 million in FY16, notably including a 197% on-year increase in contributions from the live marine products segment.

Despite the significantly higher revenue, total cost of sales fell 9% to RMB7.7 million from RMB8.5 million previously on a reduction of cost of sales and staff costs.

Over the latest quarter, the group saw a sevenfold increase in fourth quarter earnings to RMB208.9 million in 4Q17 compared to earnings of RMB 29.9 million in 4Q16 on a near-doubling of revenue, lower cost of sales and fair value gains.

Notably, Oceanus reported a net cash position of RMB114 million following the completion of a debt restructuring exercise in Dec 2017, compared to a negative net borrowings position of RMB359 million in the preceding financial year.

“This is indeed a turning point for Oceanus and our faithful shareholders – it is our pleasure to report that Oceanus is now debt free and profitable. We have over the past years cleaned up operations, put in place robust controls and risk management processes and built a strong management team to lead Oceanus into its next phase of growth on strengthened fundamentals,” says Peter Koh, the group’s executive director and CEO.

“Moving forward on a clean slate, we’ll now focus our efforts to aggressively drive business growth and value to our shareholders through strategic business partnerships, creation of new revenue streams through diversification of the group’s business model and exploring earnings-accretive M&A opportunities,” he adds.

Shares in Oceanus closed 12.5% higher at 0.9 cent on Thursday.