Bakkafrost’s value-added business readies for new Faroese salmon tax

Bakkafrost CEO Regin Jacobsen.

While Bakkafrost Group’s value-added product (VAP) segment performed strongly in the first quarter of 2023, a proposed new revenue tax on the Faroe Islands’ salmon farming industry could bring changes to the business’s long-term strategy.

Delivering Bakkafrost’s first-quarter results in Oslo, Norway, CEO Regin Jacobsen said the company’s VAP business posted operational earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of DKK 6 million (USD 883,400, EUR 806,000) and reversed a Q1 2022 loss of DKK 29 million (USD 4.3 million, EUR 3.9 million), delivering positive margins overall. He said the segment achieved this despite the pressure of high salmon prices throughout the period.

The company’s VAP operating revenue fell 10 percent to DKK 378 million (USD 55.7 million, EUR 50.8 million) in Q1 2023, with the decrease in revenue attributed to the lower volumes sold in the period compared with Q1 2022. Its operational EBIT for the period increased by DKK 5.55 (USD 0.82, EUR 0.75) to DKK 1.32 (USD 0.19, EUR 0.18) per kilogram gutted-weight.

Jacobsen said the segment’s first quarter had actually achieved a DKK 80 million (USD 11.8 million, EUR 10.7 million) earnings improvement compared to the corresponding period of last year, when factoring in the 4,753 metric tons (MT) gutted-weight produced in the quarter (down 31 percent year over year), as well as the increased value compared with higher raw material prices.

“That is the strongest change from one-quarter ever in this area,” he said. “Despite the difficult period, it has been possible to increase the prices this much, and the demand is still high.”

Since the mid-1990s, Bakkafrost has used around 40 percent of its harvest volume for value-added production. Mainly going to European markets and comprising skinless and boneless portions, this fish usually sells on six- to 12-month contracts, with signed agreements already in place for 23 percent of the combined 2023 harvest volume from the Farming Scotland (SCT) and Farming Faroe Islands (FO) segments.

“This has been a good strategy and good for us for all these years,” Jacobsen said. “This strategy will however be revised depending on the outcome of the Faroese government’s proposal to adjust the revenue tax...

Photo courtesy of Bakkafrost

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