Yadran’s harvest inches up in 2019, but profits down
Puerto Montt, Chile-based salmon farmer Yadran saw record-high harvests in 2019, but lower sales prices and flat operational costs dragged on its bottom line, according to information found in the company’s yearly report.
The company’s salmon production inched up 0.6 percent in 2019, reaching 28,053 metric tons (MT), of which 25,813 MT were exported. However, owing to lower sales prices, revenue fell 4.8 percent to USD 178 million (EUR 165 million). Sales costs remained flat at USD 144 million (EUR 133 million), leading to a 21 percent drop in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of USD 32 million (EUR 29.6 million). In turn, net profits fell 30.5 percent to USD 14.5 million (EUR 13.4 million).
The company said that 2019 levels put it on track in its estimation to produce 30,000 MT by 2021.
In the report, Yadran President Felipe Briones highlighted the company’s reducing debt 52 percent to USD 9.2 million (EUR 8.5 million) when compared to 2018, and 81.6 percent when compared to 2014, when bank debt reached USD 50.2 million (EUR 46.4 million).
Further, “reducing the use of antibiotics is one of the great challenges of the salmon industry and this is why we have worked on various strategies to achieve this goal,” according to the yearly report.
“In 2019 we managed to reduce the use of antibiotics by 36 percent compared to 2018, exceeding the goal that we had set for this year (30 percent reduction),” the company wrote. “This was achieved through the prevention of diseases in our fish, improving their genetic quality, through the use of live vaccines with better effectiveness and through a 100 percent functional diet of the smolts, all actions that target fish with an improved immune system.”
Within the framework of sustainability, Yadran carried out a series of samplings on the seabed and in the river waters to analyze levels of macrofauna, antibiotics, and antiparasitic drugs to measure the impact of its operations.
"The results of these analyses were positive, indicating that our fish farms were not having an impact on river waters, and a sampling protocol was defined for 2020 that allows us to continue ensuring that there is no presence of antibiotics in river waters, with emphasis on the sampling after an application of pharmacological treatment,” it said in its report. “In seawater, four of our farming centers presented anaerobic conditions, of which two recovered and two are pending a new sampling to assess their condition.”
In related news, at the end of March this year the company filed a proposed USD 5 million (EUR 4.6 million) project with Chile’s Environmental Assessment Service (SEA), requesting the construction and operation of a salmon farming center. The new center is to be located in the Canal Bynon sector, south of Benjamin Island, in Aysén region’s Cisnes district.
In that sector, Yadran currently has a concessioned area of six hectares, and it proposes to expand this area to 29 hectares.
The project would cultivate 4,900 MT of biomass per year from smolts coming from Yadran’s fish farms or from authorized third parties, with an estimated production cycle of 18 months and harvest taking place once the fish reach an average weight of 4.5 kilograms, according to the company’s environmental impact statement (EIS). All farming activities and facilities, as well as construction and access to the center, are to be performed at sea.
The company highlighted that the site is to be technologically advanced, with computer systems that allow for automatic feeding at all of its cultivation units, together with the implementation of underwater cameras to control food delivery and control the loss of food.
Infrastructure at the center would include two types of floating production centers – 46 rafts of 30x30x15 meters and 28 rafts of 40x40x15 meters – with the type of structure varying according to the production cycle and depending on the operating and productive conditions. Other structures would include an office, warehouses, a water system and storage tank, a platform for silage, a wastewater treatment plant and an electricity generator.
The EIS was accepted by Chile’s SEA, and is currently under evaluation for approval.