Norway's Aker reports third-quarter progress

Oslo-based Aker Seafoods’ third-quarter operating revenues hit NOK 681 million, up from NOK 609 million in 2009, the company reported on Friday.

Aker’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased to NOK 41 million, up from NOK 36 million in 2009; EBITDA margin remained stable at 5.9 percent.

The revenue boost is the result of increased harvesting volumes, higher production rate, higher prices and increased sales from inventory.

“Aker Seafoods achieved progress in a demanding period. The harvesting volumes have increased and we have improved the results within the processing segment. This, despite a demanding supply situation for raw materials,” said CEO Thomas Farstad.

Aker expects fisheries to normalize for the remainder of 2010, but there will be a shortage of cod from the coastal fleet, which will result in challenging operations for the Norwegian plants. The quotas for 2011 are set to increase for cod (up 16 percent) and haddock (up 25 percent). This could provide more efficient harvesting operations and improved supply of raw materials for the Norwegian processing operations.

“Increased cod quotas will strengthen the Norwegian filleting industry, but to achieve a profitable industry it is necessary to have less seasonality for cod harvesting,” said Farstad. “This would prevent layoffs and thus help to secure jobs. In addition, we are considering potential opportunities of improved profitability with a more flexible fishing fleet, as well as looking at different opportunities to develop our processing segments in a more market-oriented direction.”

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