Bakkafrost benefits from better biology, bigger salmon in Q1 2024

Market shortages of large superior-grade fish helped boost the company's earnings
A Bakkafrost fish-farming site in Funningsfjørður, Faroe Islands
A Bakkafrost fish-farming site in Funningsfjørður, Faroe Islands | Photo courtesy of Bakkafrost
6 Min

Good biological performance in the Faroe Islands and improved performance in Scotland helped the Bakkafrost Group post Q1 2024 revenues of DKK 2.6 billion (USD 375.4 million, EUR 348.6 million), increase of roughly 8 percent year over year.

The salmon-farming company’s operational earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the period totaled DKK 710 million (USD 102.5 million, EUR 95.2 million), and it turned a profit of DKK 401 million (USD 57.9 million, EUR 53.8 million). In the corresponding period of 2023, these totals were DKK 565 million (USD 81.6 million, EUR 75.8 million) and DKK 467 million (USD 67.4 million, EUR 62.6 million), respectively.

Delivering the Q1 results on 6 May 2024, Bakkafrost CFO Høgni Dahl Jakobsen said that measured in operational EBIT, this quarter was the best one in the group’s history.

By segment, Bakkafrost’s Farming Faroe Islands (FO) delivered quarterly revenues of almost DKK 1.6 billion (USD 231.1 million, EUR 214.5 million) and an operational EBIT of DKK 671 million (USD 96.9 million, EUR 90 million), compared to DKK 1.3 billion (USD 187.7 million, EUR 174.3 million) and DKK 410 million (USD 59.2 million, EUR 55 million) in Q1 2023, respectively. It harvested 14,294 MT of salmon in the quarter, compared to 11,005 MT in Q1 2023.

Farming Scotland’s (SCT) revenues for the period fell by DKK 96 million (USD 13.9 million, EUR 12.9 million) year over year to DKK 612 million (USD 88.4 million, EUR 82.1 million), and its operational EBIT fell DKK 116 million (USD 16.8 million, EUR 15.6 million) to DKK 39 million (USD 5.6 million, EUR 5.2 million). This segment’s operations harvested 1,263 MT of fish, marking a drop from the 9,093 MT it harvested  in Q1 2023.

Jakobsen highlighted the first-quarter average price for 4- to 5-kilogram superior Atlantic salmon amounted to NOK 108.97 (USD 10.04, EUR 9.32) per kilogram – a 4 percent increase on the corresponding period of 2023. Compared to the fourth quarter of last year, the price was 31 percent higher.

“The market was, in general, affected by a shortage of large, superior fish, as we also saw the price difference between small and large fish increasing through the quarter,” Jakobsen said.

Bakkafrost sales to the European market increased by 4 percent in the quarter, despite the lower European harvest.

“Demand in Europe has been good, and the biological challenges in Norway have increased the availability of [bringing] fillets to the market,” Jakobsen said.

According to Jakobsen, the Faroes was the only 

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