Profits are down at one of North America's largest seafood businesses as Nova Scotia-based High Liner Foods Inc., slumped during the second quarter.

While sales were up at the Lunenburg-headquartered company, net income was down nearly 50 per cent.

The company blamed a number of things, including the rising price of haddock, tightening margins and lacklustre seafood market for some of its major buyers in the United States.

“We're not happy with the second quarter. But we're far from complacent about it and we're going to work hard to make sure 2014 is as good as it can be and that 2015 is a good year,” said CEO Henry Demone.

One uncertainty is the faltering relationship between the West and Russia.

Last week, Russia responded to fresh sanctions from Canada, the U.S. and other countries with a ban on food imports for a year.

High Liner buys seafood that originates in Russia, but is processed in other countries.

“My personal mindset and the mindset within High Liner is manage the risk, spend your time worrying about things you can control and obviously that's not one of them,” said Demone.

That said, if the West slapped all-encompassing trade sanctions on Russia High Liner could be forced to find new sources at a price.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, High Liner shares fell C$2.20 or 8.73 per cent to $23 on Tuesday.

With files from the Canadian Press