Morpol acquires third salmon farm

Morpol is at it again. The Ustka, Poland-based company on Tuesday announced that it acquired Rysa Salmon, a small organic salmon farm in Orkney, Scotland, for GBP 1.96 million (USD 3.02 million, EUR 2.38 million).

Rysa Salmon holds two farming licenses and is expected to produce approximately 450 metric tons of salmon this year, which Morpol plans to increase to 750 metric tons annually.

Morpol will merge Rysa Salmon’s assets with Mainstream Scotland and Westray Salmon, both of which it purchased earlier this month. The 18 August acquisition of Mainstream Scotland for NOK 350 million was Morpol’s first leap into salmon farming. The company is already one of the world’s largest salmon processors. A week later, Morpol landed Westray Scotland, an organic salmon farm also in Orkney, for GBP 3.28 million.

“We are following our strategy of upstream integration and penetration of selected markets, and I am satisfied with the first steps we have made by acquiring salmon farming operations in Scotland,” said Morpol CEO Jerzy Malek.

Also on Wednesday, Morpol released its second-quarter results, including an operating loss of EUR 2.1 million (USD 2.7 million), compared to an operating profit of EUR 11 million during the same period last year. The company attributed its lackluster results to high raw material costs, particularly gutted salmon from Norway, though it said it expects costs to drop from record levels in the second half of this year.

The company’s operating revenues in the second quarter of 2010 were up 22 percent to EUR 83.4 million (USD 105.7 million).

“We had satisfactory results in the first half of 2010 and the demand for salmon is high,” said Malek. “The second quarter was challenging with export prices of salmon reaching historical record levels which affected us negatively. However, we have once again grown strongly and created a platform for the future.”

Morpol added that it is expanding “rapidly” into new markets, including France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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