Iceland Seafood records bump in Q1 2024 profit, largely due to whitefish market normalization

“There are signs indicating a more balanced external environment."
Iceland Seafood's booth at the 2024 Seafood Expo Global
Iceland Seafood's booth at the 2024 Seafood Expo Global | Photo courtesy of Iceland Seafood International/LinkedIn
6 Min

Whitefish markets normalized in the first quarter of this year after a challenging 2023, giving Reykjavik, Iceland-headquartered Iceland Seafood International’s (ISI) optimism for the rest of its 2024 performance, according to CEO Ægir Páll Friðbertsson.

In a statement accompanying the release of ISI’s Q1 2024 results, Friðbertsson said the upturn for whitefish was both “a welcome sign” and “a step in the right direction” that the group can build upon. Additionally, Friðbertsson said “the burden” of ISI’s U.K. operation, which it sold to Danish value-added seafood producer Epersen in August 2023, is fully behind the company, allowing it to focus on optimizing high-performing sectors.

However, economic forecasts indicate continuing uncertain conditions in ISI's primary trading countries. Specifically, salmon prices were higher in Q1 2024 than forecasts had assumed, leading to a downturn in ISI's sales of the species.

“If the forecasts for salmon prices are met, prices should decrease in the third quarter,” Friðbertsson said. “Our focus in the short term has been to improve the operation of existing business units and the company's capital structure and review the company's strategy. We know we have great potential to grow and make more of our company network and ... highly skilled team of seafood professionals. The objective is to strengthen Iceland Seafood further to meet its future challenges and opportunities."

ISI recorded sales of EUR 113.8 million (USD 123.4 million) in Q1 2024, down 8 percent on the same period last year. Its normalized profit before tax increased EUR 900,000 (USD 976,000) to EUR 1.9 million (USD 2.1 million).

ISI said the early Easter holiday in 2024 affected sales in the month of March compared to March 2023’s record sales, while its production volume of... 

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