Marine Harvest commits to Chile

Marine Harvest’s Chilean operations harvested 9,000 metric tons of farmed salmon in the second quarter of 2009, half of what it culled during the same three-month period in 2008.

But the board of the world’s largest farmed salmon producer on Tuesday reaffirmed its long-term commitment to Chile, which is struggling to overcome the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus.

The board updated its Chilean business plan, agreeing “to harmonize the scale of the business to the expected low level of activity in the coming years and to minimize losses during this period.” The plan includes charges and write-downs of about USD 115 million (EUR 82.2 million) in the second quarter.

Marine Harvest’s Chilean operations will post a negative operational EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) of about NOK 400 million (USD 61.9 million, EUR 42.2 million) and a negative financial EBIT of about NOK 900 million (USD 139.4 million, EUR 99.6 million) in the second quarter. Overall, the company will post an operational EBIT of about NOK 8 (USD 1.24, EUR 0.88) per kilogram.

Marine Harvest will report its complete second-quarter results on 14 August.

To offset the production shortfall in Chile, the company harvested 49,000 metric tons of farmed salmon in Norway in the second quarter of this year, up 6,600 metric tons from the same period last year. In Canada and Scotland, production reached 12,000 metric tons and 9,000 metric tons, respectively. Marine Harvest harvested a total of 83,000 metric tons of farmed salmon in the second quarter of 2009, up 3,000 metric tons from the same period in 2008.

News of the company’s second-quarter production figures comes two weeks after it released a sustainability report outlining its commitment to environmental and social responsibility.

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