The Kingfish Company completes Phase 2 extension, more than doubling yellowtail production capacity

A Kingfish Company employee feeds yellowtail in one of its recirculating aquaculture system tanks

The Kingfish Company has completed an extension of its Netherlands-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), more than doubling its production capacity.

In a Q4 2023 trading update, The Kingfish Company said its latest expansion – which builds upon the company’s existing Zeeland, the Netherlands-based facility – will increase its total yellowtail kingfish production capacity to 3,500 metric tons (MT). The company added that it expects to be able to operate at full capacity in 2025. 

“The completion of Phase 2 marks the beginning of an accelerated sales phase,” The Kingfish Company CEO Vincent Erenst said in a release.

The company said that the biological performance of the new expansion is exceeding expectations. Prior to the expansion, the company’s facility had a capacity of 1,500 MT.

Kingfish Company’s Q4 2023 performance highlights indicate the company has a standing biomass of 967 MT, more than double the 408 MT it had in Q4 2022. The company saw net biomass growth of 635 MT in the quarter, compared to 395 MT in the same period last year, which it attributed to “strong system performance” and accelerated growth of the third generation of yellowtail kingfish fingerlings.

The company harvested 419 MT of yellowtail kingfish in Q4 2023, up from 387 MT in Q4 2022 – but the volume of fish sold over the same period dropped slightly to 343 MT from the 347 MT sold in 2022. Despite the lower volume, the company posted higher revenue of EUR 5.2 million (USD 5.6 million) in Q4 2023 compared to EUR 5.1 million (USD 5.5 million) in Q4 2022.

That higher total was largely due to higher revenue per kilogram. The company saw a 3.8 percent increase in revenue per kilogram to EUR 15.20 (USD 16.49) per kilogram of yellowtail kingfish, up from EUR 14.60 (USD 15.84) per kilogram in Q4 2022.

The higher revenue from sales was despite “softer markets” at the beginning of Q4 and increase competition in the U.S. frozen market, The Kingfish Company said.

“Additionally, as the year concluded, demand in key markets strengthened, underlining the market appeal of Dutch yellowtail,” the company said. 

As part of its ramp-up to full production, the company also hired Gudo klein Gebbink as its new commercial director, in January. 

“This role is pivotal in driving the expansion of our customer base and boosting sales across both existing and new markets,” Erenst said.

At the start of 2023, The Kingfish Company, , which has produced yellowtail since it opened in 2018, said it had confirmed a “path to profitability.” The company started under the name Kingfish Zeeland with a trial facility with a capacity of 50 MT. Since then, the company has changed its name to The Kingfish Company, continued to increase its farming capacity, and landed contracts to supply its fish with retailers and direct-to-consumer companies.

Its latest expansion ended up costing more than expected, and the company adjusted its estimates upward to EUR 95 million (USD 103 million) in April 2023. The company then secured an additional EUR 32 million (USD 34 million) in funding July to meet the higher cost.

The company said its full Q4 2023 and FY 2023 results will be released on 11 April, 2024.  

Photo courtesy of The Kingfish Company


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