Pelagia records solid Q1 amid fishing access concerns

Published on
May 16, 2022
Pelagic fish company Pelagia's Aberdeen operation.

Lower quotas of spring spawning herring and mackerel led to a small decrease in raw material availability for Bergen, Norway-based pelagic fish company Pelagia AS in the first quarter of 2022, while uncertainty remains over whether a fishing agreement can be reached between Norway and the United Kingdom that would give it access to the U.K. fishing zone.

The lack of such an agreement could cause a repeat of the 2021 season, when the Norwegian fleet did not have its usual access. As such, the season started earlier – in Q3 2021 – while the fish were available in the Norwegian fishing zone, but Pelagia said, normally, doing this reduces the quality of the raw material and lowers the price to the fishing fleet.

According to the company’s Q1 2022 financial report, it achieved revenues of just over NOK 2.2 billion (USD 224.7 million, EUR 215.5 million) for the first-quarter of this year, which was NOK 113 million (USD 11.5 million, EUR 11.1 million) less than in the corresponding period of 2021.

Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the period was NOK 184 million (USD 18.8 million, EUR 18 million), up from NOK 133 million (USD 13.6 million, EUR 13 million) in Q1 2021, while its profit before tax was up NOK 28 million (USD 2.9 million, EUR 2.7 million) to NOK 74 million (USD 7.6 million, EUR 7.2 million).

Pelagia said the war in Ukraine could “in particular” increase the risk related to Pelagia’s Food division’s operations, while for its Feed segment, the increase in the capelin quota has compensated for the reduction in blue whiting raw material. It said the market demand seen by its Health division is expected to remain “solid” in 2022.

Food generated 122,519 metric tons (MT) of raw material in the quarter (128,248 MT in Q1 2021), while Feed’s raw material volume was 255,728 MT (221,854 MT in Q1 2021).

On 28 March 2022, Pelagia signed an agreement with Arne Stang AS to purchase 100 percent of the shares in Norsk Fiskeindustri Invest AS (NFI). NFI owns 51.05 percent of the shares in Karmsund Protein AS which is a producer of fishmeal and fish oil. A fulfilment of the agreement is dependent of an approval from the Norwegian Competition Authority.

Pelagia AS is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Pelagia Holding AS.

In 2021, Pelagia took full ownership of fellow Norwegian company Hordafor AS, which utilizes by-products from the salmon farming industry to produce oil and protein.

Photo courtesy of Pelagia

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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