Blumar’s lackluster salmon performance drags on Q1 2024 results

Blumar's booth at the 2024 Seafood Expo Global
Blumar's booth at the 2024 Seafood Expo Global | Photo courtesy of Blumar/LinkedIn
4 Min

Santiago, Chile-based fishing and salmon-farming firm Blumar fell into the red in the first quarter of 2024, as a solid performance in its fishing segment was unable to offset a disappointing quarter in its salmon-farming segment.

The company posted Q1 2024 losses of USD 1.8 million (EUR 1.7 million), compared to turning a net profit of USD 14.8 million (EUR 13.8 million) in Q1 2023.

Total revenues for Q1 2024 fell 23 percent to USD 140 million (EUR 130 million) from 182 million (EUR 170 million) in Q1 2023. Over the same period, the firm’s EBITDA fell 42 percent to USD 22.9 million (EUR 21.3 million) from USD 39.5 million (EUR 36.8 million), the company reported.

Blumar’s salmon-farming business particularly struggled in the quarter dragging the company into the red. The segment brought in USD 53.7 million (EUR 50 million) in the quarter, representing 38 percent of total revenues, compared to USD 115 million (EUR 107 million) and 63 percent of total revenues in the same period a year prior.  The decreased sales came as the company’s harvest of Atlantic salmon dropped 53 percent to 6,995 MT, down from 14,788 MT in the same period one year ago, while the price of Atlantic salmon decreased 7 percent to USD 7.16 (EUR 6.67) from USD 7.69 (EUR 7.17) per kilogram of whole fish equivalent (WFE). 

As prices and harvests decreased, costs increased. Ex-cage costs increased 12 percent year over year to USD 5.42 (EUR 5.05) per kilogram WFE, up from USD 4.83 (EUR 4.50). That increase caused per-kilogram WFE EBIT losses of USD 0.89 (EUR 0.83), compared to a positive EBIT of USD 0.93 (EUR 0.87) in the same quarter of 2023.

Blumar said there was a strong drop in quantity sold in the quarter due to the effect of a December algae bloom and a scheduled drop in harvests from the Magallanes region.

The company provided a salmon harvest forecast of a total 50,400 MT WFE for full-year 2024, compared to 50,200 MT WFE harvested in 2023.

Oh the wild-caught side of the business, Frozen horse mackerel sales reached USD 35.9 million (EUR 33.5 million), representing 26 percent of the total this year, compared to USD 30 million (EUR 28 million) and a 16 percent share one year ago. 

Sales from fishmeal and fish oil brought in USD 36.8 million (EUR 34.3 million) in the quarter, representing 26 percent of total sales, compared to USD 22.2 million (EUR 20.7 million) and 12 percent in Q1 2023. Whitefish and other products brought in USD 13.7 million (EUR 12.8 million), or 10 percent of the total, for the first three months of 2024, versus USD 14.9 million (EUR 13.9 million) and 8 percent of the total in the same period of 2023.

In April, the firm signed a USD 260 million (EUR 244 million) sustainability-linked syndicated loan – led by Rabobank and with the participation of banks DNB, Santander, and BCI – with sustainability goals established for 2030 along four main pillars.

Additionally, in May, Chile’s Superintendence of the Environment (SMA) initiated a sanctioning procedure against Blumar due to supposed overproduction at its Córdova 1 grow-out center in the Kawésqar National Reserve. Such infractions may be subject to revocation of the environmental license, closure, or a fine of up to the equivalent of CLP 3.9 billion (USD 4.3 million, EUR 4 million).

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