Scottish Sea Farms expects turnaround after challenging Q2

A Scottish Sea Farms employee.

Biological challenges at farming sites hurt the operations of Shetland, Scotland-based Scottish Sea Farms in the second quarter of this year, negatively affecting harvest volume, average harvest size, and price achievement, according to reports from Lerøy Seafood Group, which operates the company as a joint venture with SalMar.

Lerøy CEO Henning Beltestad confirmed when presenting his firm’s Q2 2023 results that Scottish Sea Farms had experienced a “weak second quarter,” saying the company accrued high costs tending to sites with challenges stemming from the second half of 2022 that continued into this year. But Beltestad said the back half of this year should bring “gradual improvement” to Scottish Sea Farms.

“We still see some biological challenges going into Q3, but there are improvements in fish size and cost base. We expect we will have much better results going forward, and we also believe we know the cause of the performance at Scottish Sea Farms in these sites,” Beltestad said. “There have been challenges with some groups of fish which didn’t perform well in Shetland and the mainland, but we strongly believe this will be much better going forward.”

Scottish Sea Farms recorded a loss of NOK 65 million (USD 6.1 million, EUR 5.6 million) in Q2 2023, a stark reversal of the NOK 70 million (USD 6.6 million, EUR 6.1 million) in earnings it took in during Q2 2022. The company harvested just 6,325 metric tons (MT) of salmon in Q2, compared to 9,489 MT in Q2 2022. For the first six months of 2023, its harvest totaled 11,495 MT, compared with 17,329 MT in the first half of last year. The salmon producer has revised its harvest guidance for the year down to 27,000 MT, which, if realized, would be 30 percent lower than its 2022 totals.

Scottish Sea Farms’s quarterly revenue totaled NOK 692 million (USD 64.9 million, EUR 60.1 million), down from the NOK 884 million (USD 82.9 million, EUR 76.8 million) the company earned in Q2 2022. At the same time, its operational earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) plummeted from NOK 190 million (USD 17.8 million, EUR 16.5 million) to a loss of NOK 144 million (USD 13.5 million, EUR 12.5 million).

To improve its performance and improve efficiency, Scottish Sea Farms has plans

Photo courtesy of Scottish Sea Farms

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