Stronger 4Q for Marine Harvest
Marine Harvest ASA on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter operational EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) of NOK 569 million (USD 96.7 million, EUR 70.1 million), up from NOK 317 million in the same period in 2008.
However, the world’s largest farmed salmon producer watched its fourth-quarter operating revenues fall to NOK 3.77 billion (USD 640.7 million, EUR 464.6 million) in 2009 from NOK 4.04 billion in 2008. The company attributed the drop in operating revenues mainly to a reduced harvest in Chile and currency exchange.
Yet Marine Harvest posted a fourth-quarter net gain of NOK 520.1 million (USD 88.4 million, EUR 64.1 million), compared to a net loss of NOK 621.1 million in 2008.
“We are satisfied with the results for the fourth quarter 2009,” said Marine Harvest CEO Åse Aulie Michelet. “Significant improvements in specifically Marine Harvest Scotland, Marine Harvest Chile and Marine Harvest VAP Europe contributed to improved profitability. Marine Harvest Norway increased volumes, revenues and earnings in the fourth quarter and contributed with two thirds of the group’s operational EBIT in the quarter.”
Marine Harvest produced 368,700 metric tons of farmed salmon in the fourth quarter of 2009, down from 388,300 metric tons in 2008. In the fourth quarter, Chilean output plummeted from 105,700 metric tons in 2008 to just 36,600 metric tons in 2009, while Norwegian output ballooned from 195,600 metric tons in 2008 and 238,800 metric tons in 2009. Production in Scotland, Ireland, the Faeroe Islands and Australia grew, while production in North America slipped due mainly to poor growth conditions in Canada.
Marine Harvest expects to harvest 66,000 metric tons of farmed salmon in the first quarter and 292,000 metric tons this year, which would be down about 30,000 metric tons from last year.
“The good results in this quarter confirm the turnaround of Marine Harvest in 2009,” added Michelet. “We have embarked on 2010 from a significantly strengthened financial position with stronger performance in most business units. I expect continued solid demand for seafood. Together with limited supply this indicates a strong market for salmon also in 2010. There is a good potential for reduced biological risk in the industry and also room for further improvements in Marine Harvest operations. I’m looking forward to another year with visible improvements.”