Cermaq sees 1Q turnaround

Cermaq ASA on Friday released its first-quarter results, including an EBIT (earning before interest and taxes) of NOK 122 million (USD 19.6 million, EUR 15.4 million), compared to a loss of NOK 65 million in the first quarter of 2009.

The Norwegian farmed salmon producer attributed its first-quarter turnaround to higher salmon prices worldwide, greater volumes in Norway and improvements in Chile, which is rebounding from an infectious salmon anemia outbreak.

"The results for [the first quarter] are overall in line with expectations. High salmon prices are certainly a positive element, but equally important for this result is our long-term planning and work, especially within farming in Norway and Chile," said Cermaq CEO Geir Isaksen.

The company's Mainstream subsidiary posted an EBIT of NOK 117 million in the first quarter of this year, compared to a loss of NOK 89 million during the same period last year.

Its Norwegian farming operations delivered a 9 percent increase in production and an EBIT of NOK 86 million, which corresponds to NOK 9.8 per kilogram, compared to NOK 3.6 per kilogram in the first quarter of 2009.

Mainstream Chile also showed improvement. "It is promising to see the improving results in Chile," said Isaksen. "We still expect a transfer of 8 million Atlantic smolt in 2010, and our investment plans for Chile remain unchanged."

The company's farming operations in Canada and Scotland remained stable.

And EWOS, Cermaq's fish-feed manufacturing division, saw a 10 percent increase in production.


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