High salmon prices squeeze Morpol
The historically high salmon prices that propped up salmon-farming company’s fourth-quarter and year-end results took a bite out of Morpol ASA’s finances. On Friday, the Poland-based salmon processor reported an operating income of EUR 12.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to EUR 22.1 million during the same period in 2009.
Morpol posted a net profit of continuing operations of EUR 11.9 in the fourth quarter of 2010, down from EUR 18.9 million in 2009, but managed operating revenues of EUR 163.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from EUR 138.9 million in 2009. The company attributed the revenue increase primarily to farming revenues that were not included in the previous year and increased processing volumes.
Morpol was active on the mergers-and-acquisitions front last year, purchasing Mainstrem Scotland, Westray Scotland Ltd., Rysa Salmon and Brookside Products Ltd. And just last month, the company made it first acquisition in Norway, landing salmon farmer Jøkelfjord Laks.
“Given the extreme conditions in the quarter, with severe weather in December and record high salmon prices, Morpol delivered a good result. We increased prices for our products in the period, and we continued to experience strong sales growth,” said Morpol CEO Jerzy Malek.
Looking ahead, Malek added, “Our focus remains on producing stable, good quality products designed to satisfy customer needs. We will exploit the most attractive markets and we believe the entry into salmon farming will provide a platform for further expansion. With higher consumer prices in 2011 and increased global supply in the second half, it remains to be seen what the impact will be on raw material prices.”