Ireland Blyth Limited (IBL) was to invest in a new seafood business in Gabon, the Mauritian company said on Friday, as it reported a 20 percent surge in first-half profit.

One of the largest business groups in Mauritius attributed this performance the profitability of all existing operations in the sector.

IBL operates in five main sectors of the economy including retail, financial services, seafood & marine, logistics and engineering & commerce.

According to Reuters, IBL signed an agreement with Gabon and local investment fund Fonds Gabonais d’Investissements Strategiques that will see $33.5 million (25 million euros) invested in the country’s seafood and marine industry.

The news agency reported that IBL would contribute 60 percent of the cost, with Fonds Gabonais d’Investissements Strategiques meeting the balance.

This private-public partnership is in line with our strategy to consolidate our position in Africa,” chief executive Nicolas Maigrot told Reuters on Friday.

The company said IBL’s pretax profit rose to 416 million rupees in the six months to December – its first half, driven by a 52 percent rise in earnings from seafood and marine operations.

Earnings per share rose 10 percent to 4.00 rupees.

“The double effect of a rise in profit and the signature of public-private partnership with Gabon authorities has boosted investors confidence,” Kavissen Senivassen, financial analyst at LSF Securities, told Reuters. “The market feels that the expansion into Africa will create more value for shareholders.”


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