Polar Seafood Greenland posts “unsatisfactory” drop in profit in 2023

A pair of Polar Seafood fishermen at work on a boat
Polar Seafood Greenland posted a drop in profit in 2023 and cautioned in its results that a new Greenland law could take away one-third of the company's quota | Photo courtesy of Polar Seafood Greenland
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Polar Seafood saw its operating profit and results drop in 2023 as its ocean trawlers had longer-than-expected stints in shipyards.

The company posted slightly higher revenues of DKK 1.487 billion (USD 217 million, EUR 199 million) in 2023, up slightly from the DKK 1.481 billion (USD 216 million, EUR 198 million) it posted in 2022. However, its profit after taxes dropped to DKK 77.4 million (USD 11.3 million, EUR 10.3 million) from DKK 162.7 million (USD 23.8 million, EUR 21.8 million). 

The results, the company said, are “unsatisfactory” and were negatively affected by all the company’s ocean-going trawlers having “a longer stay in the shipyard” than expected. It said one trawler was involved “in several accidents,” which reduced the company’s catch. 

However, the company's pelagic fishery output was higher in 2023 compared to 2022. Looking forward to 2024, the company said it expects its results to be more in line with historical norms, predicting a profit after tax of DKK 120 million (USD 17.5 million, EUR 16.1 million). 

Greenland approved a reform to its fisheries law on 16 May that is likely to impact the company's operations in 2024 and beyond. Polar Seafood Greenland Chair Michael Binzer in the past called the changes “catastrophic” for the company and that it will be forced to sell off up to one-third of its halibut and shrimp quotas due to private companies being limited to just 20 percent of the quota for any species. 

While the impacts will take a decade to be fully implemented, it will still cause issues, the company said.

“Even if the time horizon is 10 years for implementation of the law, it will have major consequences for investments and business dispositions already from the adoption,” the company said.

Polar Seafood Greenland said almost one-third of its quota base is at stake. 

“It is the opinion of the company's management that the draft law is in breach of good administrative practice, and this has been brought forward in consultation responses and subsequent stakeholder dialogue,” the company said.

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