The lack of growth in salmon volumes resulted in very high prices during 2016.

Austevoll Seafood latest to report record profits

Arne Møgster, chief executive of Austevoll Seafood, said “a good performance from the salmon segment” helped make 2016 another record year for the group, as turnover reached NOK18.9 billion (£1.7 billion), with EBITDA of NOK3.9 billion (£351 million).

Møgster said: “The global salmon supply decreased in 2016 with a total harvested volume of approximately 2.16 million tonnes, a decrease of 6.7 per cent compared with 2015, which was in line with the forecast made in 2015 by industry analyst Kontali. This brought the Norwegian harvest volumes back to the level where they were in 2012, and the lack of growth in volume has resulted in very high prices during 2016.

“We are of the opinion that a growth in demand over time is perhaps the most important driver for global competitiveness and generation of increased value. It is important that the industry work closely with the politicians to lay the foundation for the future of the Norwegian salmon industry. Framework conditions that allow for more flexibility in relation to the harvesting of fish throughout the year would boost the potential for enhanced industrial operations and likely minimize the risk of substantial fluctuations in prices throughout the year. We are also of the opinion that framework conditions of this nature must be based on an understanding of environmental sustainability.

Biological challenges

“In 2016, Lerøy Seafood Group achieved a record high result, and reported the highest revenue and operating profit in the group’s history. We can summarise the year with high salmon and trout prices, strong demand, but also some biological challenges. LSG harvested a total of 164,200 tonnes of salmon and trout from own production in Norway during 2016, down 5 per cent from 171,200 in 2015. The group currently estimates the total harvest volume for 2017 to be approximately 180,000 tonnes.”

Salmon processing in Chile

Austevoll Seafood’s operations include: Foodcorp Chile, a key player in region’s pelagic industry; Austral Group, a leading Peruvian fishing company focused on industrial fishing of pelagic fish for both direct and indirect human consumption; Br Birkeland, headquartered in Austevoll with key business segments in fishing and salmon farming; and Bergen-based food and feed division Pelagia Holding.

The main species of raw material for Pelagia’s food division are mackerel, herring and capelin. The main species of raw material for the feed division are blue whiting, sand eel, Norwegian pout, capelin and trimmings from the food division’s production.

Great potential

Møgster added: “It is my conviction that the pelagic sector has great potential to be harnessed with further product development and marketing. The establishment of Pelagia in 2014 was in line with our long term strategy within the pelagic segment, establishing strategic partnerships to optimise operations from raw materials to end product. It is a key goal for Pelagia to become the driving force in product development and innovation within the pelagic industry.

“We are continuously aiming to add value to our raw material by utilising the wholly integrated operational structure and the operational knowledge of the organisation of Pelagia. Pelagia’s total intake of raw material in 2016 was 1,169 million tonnes, a decrease of 11 percent compared with 1,310 million tonnes in 2015. The pelagic quotas in the North Atlantic indicated for 2017 are in line with the 2015 levels, leading to a good raw material situation for Pelagia.

“In summary, 2016 has been a good year and we are satisfied with the group’s financial performance. However, we still feel there is potential yet to be fully realised and in particular in our South American companies. We will continue to work towards more value creation by tapping into the synergies found throughout the group.”

The group will hold its Ordinary General Meeting on Wednesday 24 May at 10am in the company’s facilities at Storebø, Austevoll.

Published: 03/05/2017 at 12:26 pm

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