AKVA increased orders, revenue and net profit in 2017. Photo: AKVA

Scottish export office helps AKVA increase profit

Fish farming supplier AKVA’s Europe and Middle East region, which is run from Inverness, more than doubled order intake in 2017 compared to 2016, the firm has revealed in its annual report.

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Total revenue for the Norwegian company in 2017 was NOK2.088 billion (£188m) - an increase of 30% from 2016.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was NOK240m (£21.6m), up 66% on 2016, and net profit was NOK100m (£9m), an increase of 261% on 2016.

AKVA said an overall continuation of the good market situation, as well as focusing on organisational and operational improvements, had resulted in further growth in order intake, revenue and earnings in 2017. The value of its order book at the end of 2017 was NOK1,381 (£124.6m).

The company said its cage-based technology (CBT) segment had strong momentum throughout the year driven by activity in the Nordic area, as well as increased activity in Europe & Middle East and in the Americas.

All regions experienced growth in 2017, as did its land-based technology (LBT) segment and software segment.

While revenues increased by 30%, the value of new orders increased by 27% and ended at NOK2,471m (£223m).

AKVA’s report stated: “In particular, the step up of order intake came from the Americas region and Europe & Middle East region, resulting in a more balanced geographical presence for the Group.”

The company said the value of orders from Chile more than doubled last year following the salmon farming industry’s recovery from a difficult start to 2016, with operating revenue reaching NOK286m compared to NOK143m the year before.

The report continued: “Further, the Europe & Middle East region also more than doubled order intake in 2017 compared to 2016 as well as growing revenue and ended the year with a record high order backlog. For Europe & Middle East, Scotland is the largest contributor, but we have also experienced significant improvements in Russia and “non-salmon” markets around the Mediterranean Sea.

Other species than salmon

It added: “Revenues from technology sales and services to aquaculture producers of other species than salmon of NOK206m (NOK178m in 2016), equal to 10% (11% in 2016) of total revenues. The Mediterranean and Middle East were the main markets for sales to customers farming other species.”

AKVA, which is headquartered at Bryne, Norway, now has offices and service stations along the Norwegian coast and in Chile, Scotland, Canada, Turkey, Iceland, Denmark, Australia, Spain, Greece and Iran.

It said revenues from rental, services and maintenance provided by AKVA group continued the positive development in 2017, reflecting a positive trend in an area with strategic priority.

In 2017 AKVA invested NOK96m (NOK58m in 2016) in product research and development, used to further improve existing products and to develop new products.

Growth in Canada and Iceland

Looking ahead, the report stated: “The market conditions in Chile are expected to remain favourable and we have implemented improvements in the operations and product portfolio, which will further strengthen our competitive position and presence in that market.

“The salmon farming industry expects growth in eastern Canada and Iceland and we are in process of positioning ourselves better in these areas.

“We have had a strategy of focusing the “Non-Salmon” activities around the Mediterranean Sea, which has yielded good results in 2017. We will continue to develop and invest in these markets going forward.

“The land-based organisation was re-organised during 2017 and at the beginning of 2018 is in even better shape to compete in this segment, where we see increased demand and investments from our customers.”