Kingfish Company reports “promising start” as company closed in on profitability in Q1 2024

A row of recirculating aquaculture system tanks operated by The Kingfish Company
The Kingfish Company has reached its maximum biomass at its Kats, the Netherlands-based recirculating aquaculture system facility | Photo courtesy of The Kingfish Company
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Kats, the Netherlands-based The Kingfish Company reported increased biomass growth, revenue, and earnings in Q1 2024 as the company approaches its biological maximum at its land-based yellowtail kingfish recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility.

The company reported biomass growth of 642 metric tons (MT) in Q1 2024, up from the 421 MT it reported in Q1 2023. That total brings the company’s total standing biomass to 1,043 MT, which Kingfish Company said is the maximum carrying capacity of its installations.

As the company reached its maximum biomass, it also reported increased sales volumes. The company sold 410 MT of yellowtail kingfish in Q1 2024, up 13 percent from the 363 MT it sold in Q1 2023. The company earned EUR 5.9 million (USD 6.3 million) on that total, up 5 percent from the EUR 5.6 million (USD 6 million) it earned in the same period a year ago. 

Due to the larger increase in sales volume compared to sales revenue, its revenue per kilogram of fish sold decreased to EUR 14.40 (USD 15.47) per kilogram in Q1 2024, down from EUR 15.10 (USD 16.22) per kilogram in Q1 2023. Despite that, the gross margin per kilogram sold increased by 90 percent to EUR 4.60 (USD 4.94) per kilogram – up from EUR 2.40 (USD 2.57) per kilogram it earned a year prior. 

Operational earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization also improved to a loss of EUR 300,000 (USD 322,000) in Q1 2024, up from a loss of EUR 1.1 million (USD 1.2 million) in Q1 2023.

“The first-quarter financial results indicate a promising start to the year, with an increase in sales volume and operational EBITDA closing in on break-even,” Kingfish Company CEO Vincent Erenst said. 

With the company achieving the biomass carrying capacity of its facility, it is proactively managing the growth of its fish, something that it mentioned in its FY 2023 results.

The restrictions reduced the facility’s productivity in Q1 2024 to 0.57 kilograms of growth per cubic meter per day, down from 0.63 kilograms of growth in Q4 2023. However, the lower growth rate also came with better feed ratios.

“New feed formulations, improved quality of juveniles in combination with lower temperature, resulted in a reduction of the eFCR [economic feed conversion ratio] to 1.26 a significant improvement compared to 1.42 in Q4 2023,” The Kingfish Company said.  

Erenst also said Kingfish is focusing on its sales to increase revenue. 

“Our primary focus this year is on further development of sales and operations; we are expanding sales to both existing and new clients in Europe and North America while simultaneously exploring new markets for our yellowtail kingfish,” he said. “We will also work with our team on further improvement of operational efficiency.”

The company said it continues to work on its expansion plans, both at its existing facility and at its proposed Maine-based RAS facility.

“The company expects to benefit from the scaling effect and further improvement in operations and productivity to become profitable and cash positive,” Kingfish Company said.

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