Bakkafrost banking on better biological performance in 2024 after challenging year

Bakkafrost said it hopes its delayed harvests in 2023 lead to better performance in the new year after a disappointing Q4
A set of net pens operated by Bakkafrost in a fjord.
A set of salmon net pens operated by Bakkafrost in a fjord| Photo courtesy of Bakkafrost
6 Min

Glyvrar, Faroe Islands-based Bakkafrost Group delayed harvests planned for last year in both the Faroes and Scotland until early 2024, and the company said it hopes improved biological performance elicits a solid – albeit delayed – harvest and turns around what was a disappointing end to 2023.

For FY 2023, the company’s revenues amounted to DKK 7.14 billion (USD 1 billion, EUR 957.8 million), and its operational earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) totaled DKK 1.5 billion (USD 217.3 million, EUR 201.2 million). Harvests, meanwhile, amounted to 73,006 metric tons (MT) gutted weight.

For the fourth quarter, Bakkafrost revenues totaled DKK 1.56 billion (USD 226 million, EUR 209.3 million), and the company’s operational EBIT amounted to DKK 356 million (USD 51.6 million, EUR 47.8 million). Compared with Bakkafrost’s results posted in the final quarter of 2022, those totals were down 19 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Bakkafrost’s Farming Faroe Islands (FO) segment delivered quarterly revenues of almost DKK 1.48 billion (USD 214.4 million, EUR 198.5 million) and an operational EBIT of DKK 460 million (USD 66.6 million, EUR 61.7 million), both of which marked year-over-year decreases compared to the DKK 1.64 billion (USD 237.6 million, EUR 220 million) and DKK 525 million (USD 76.1 million, EUR 70.4 million) posted in Q4 2022. It also harvested 16,005 MT of salmon in the quarter – a more than 3,000-MT drop compared to the 19,276 MT harvested in Q4 2022.

The Farming Scotland (SCT) segment’s revenues for the period, meanwhile, fell year over year by DKK 214 million (USD 31 million, EUR 28.7 million), totaling DKK 84 million (USD 12.2 million, EUR 11.3 million). These operations harvested just 1,062 MT of fish, compared to 5,198 MT harvested in Q4 2022.

Delivering the firm’s results in Oslo, Norway, on 20 February, Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen noted that a heavy FO focus on fish health and welfare has resulted in a strong farming regime. The segment’s average monthly survivability for the full year was 99.39 percent, achieving an average harvest weight of 4.6 kilograms HOG and 90 percent superior grade salmon.

SCT continues to make progress, Jacobsen said, with a monthly survivability of 98.29 percent last year, an average harvest weight of 4.2 kilos, and 89 percent superior grade achieved.

He also confirmed that after a troublesome third quarter that featured biological challenges in Scotland, Q4’s …

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