A year after devastating algal bloom, AquaChile reports strong results
More than a year after an algal bloom wreaked havoc with the aquaculture industry in Chile, one of the country’s major players in the sector has reported financial results showing it back in the black.
AquaChile’s, a major Chilean producer of farmed salmon and trout, had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of USD 50.2 million (EUR 44.7 million) in the first quarter of 2017. In the first quarter of 2016, the company reported a loss of USD 10.3 million (EUR 9.2 million).
The company credited higher prices for salmon and trout, as well as lower production and sales costs for Pacific salmon and tilapia, for the turnaround. It said prices for the salmon and trout it sold increased by an average of 52 percent compared to the first quarter of 2016.
"We are facing solid fundamentals of demand for our products and we remain very focused on continuing with cost reduction and efficiency gains,” AquaChile General Manager Agustín Ugalde said. “All of this is reflected in our first quarter results.”
In the first three months of the year, the company's consolidated sales stood at USD 196.8 million (EUR 175.3 million), representing a 24 percent increase over its sales in the same time period in 2016, while its operating costs decreased 13 percent. As a result, AquaChile’s operating income before fair value reached USD 41.6 million (EUR 37 million), compared to a loss of USD 21.2 million (EUR 18.9 million) in the same period of the previous year. Consolidated net income for the company’s Q1 2017 was USD 18.2 million (EUR 16.2 million), compared to a loss of USD 29.5 million (EUR 26.3 million) in Q1 2016.
“This improved result is due to the increase in margins of sales in all species,” the company said in a press release.
The strong quarter allowed AquaChile to generate cash of USD 53 million (EUR 47.2 million) in Q1, which it partly used to reduce its net financial debt by 24 percent compared to its levels at the end of 2016, the company said.