Grieg continues to ramp up salmon harvest, has 100,000 MT in its sights
Strong performances by its Norwegian farms led Grieg Seafood ASA to achieve operational earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of NOK 357.3 million (USD 38.6 million, EUR 35.5 million) before fair-value adjustment of biomass in the fourth quarter of last year. These earnings were up from the NOK 350.7 million (USD 37.9 million, EUR 34.8 million) delivered in the corresponding period of 2018.
The Bergen-headquartered Atlantic salmon producer harvested 25,342 metric tons (MT) of fish in the last quarter, an increase of 7 percent, or 1,660 MT year-on-year. The Rogaland segment supplied 8,426 MT, Finnmark produced 10,782 MT, Shetland produced 2,332 MT, and the company's British Columbia, Canada, segment produced 3,802 MT.
Its revenues in Q4 2019 reached almost NOK 2.4 billion (USD 259.1 million, EUR 238.3 million), an increase of 12 percent compared to the same period last year, with the increase driven by the higher harvest volume and spot prices. The EBIT-per-kilogram was NOK 14.10 (USD 1.52, EUR 1.40), compared to NOK 14.81 (USD 1.60, EUR 1.47) a year previously.
For the full year 2019, Grieg’s operational EBIT amounted to almost NOK 1.09 billion (USD 117.7 million, EUR 108.3 million), down slightly from NOK 1.1 billion (USD 118.8 million, EUR 109.3 million). Meanwhile, its harvest increased from 74,623 MT to 82,973 MT.
A first-quarter 2020 harvest of 16,800 MT has been forecast, with CEO Andreas Kvame stating that the longstanding ambition of reaching a volume of 100,000 MT this year “is within reach.”
In the company’s Q4 2019 report, Kvame explained that operational development had varied between its production regions. While Finnmark and Rogaland had exceeded expectations, B.C. and Shetland had been impacted by challenging biology, resulting in higher costs.
This year, Finnmark is expected to harvest around 38,000 MT of salmon, Rogaland 25,000 MT, Shetland 17,000 MT, and B.C. 20,000 MT.
“We are now looking beyond 2020 as we aim to build on our existing platform to ensure continued growth and cost improvements to reach more than 150,000 MT harvest by 2025,” Kvame said. “To scale our global operations, we will continue to grow organically, as well as through M&A activity. We will also reposition Grieg Seafood from a pure commodity supplier to an innovation partner, increasing our presence downstream through partnerships, category development and brand cultivation.”
Kvame added that the recent acquisition of Grieg Newfoundland was a first step on this journey. “By developing salmon farming operations in this new region, using cutting- edge technologies at all stages of the production process, we will seek to strengthen our position as a global leader in sustainable salmon farming.”
Photo courtesy of Grieg Seafood