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AKVA reported increased profits and a fuller order book for the last quarter of 2017. Photo: AKVA
AKVA reported increased profits and a fuller order book for the last quarter of 2017. Photo: AKVA

Aquaculture supplier AKVA group, which runs its Europe and Middle East export region from its Scotland office in Inverness, has reported strong growth in revenue and EBITDA (operating profit) for the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Order intake came out at NOK 557 million, or £51.1m (NOK 561m in Q4 2016). The revenue in fourth quarter of 2017 ended at NOK 557m (NOK 449m) with an EBITDA of NOK 60m (NOK 24m). Fourth quarter EBITDA margin was 10.8% (5.3%), and net profit increased to NOK 27m (£2.5m) compared to NOK -8m in Q4 2016.  

AKVA group ended the quarter with an order backlog of NOK 1.381 billion (£126.7m), an increase of 38% compared to the same period the previous year.

A half-yearly dividend of NOK 0.75 per share will be paid out this month.

In its Q4 2017 financial report, Norwegian-headquartered AKVA said it experienced increased revenue and margins in the cage-based segment compared to 2016, with the Norwegian market as the main driver to the growth.

The acquisitions of AD Offshore and Sperre, made in 2016, were contributing to the growth in revenue and EBITDA.

AKVA said positive development in the Americas region has continued, with a quarterly revenue of NOK 127m, up from NOK 62m in 2016. All its entities in Americas has a stronger quarter than 2016 year in terms of revenue, and order intake ended at a very strong NOK 138m compared to NOK 66m in Q4 2016. 

AKVA's land-based sector increased revenue and operating profit. Photo: AKVA
AKVA's land-based sector increased revenue and operating profit. Photo: AKVA

For EME (Europe & Middle East), AKVA experienced a strong quarter with an order intake of NOK 139m (£12.7m), including material contracts in Scotland, Russia and Turkey. AKVA said: “Our operation in Turkey, Greece, Spain and Middle East delivers according to plan in Q4 2017.”

Stronger margins in AKVA’s Icelandic software business in Q4 contributed to an increase in EBITDA. AKVA said it was currently conducting a strategic evaluation of Wise ehf in order to realise the potential of the business going forward. No conclusions have yet been made.

AKVA’s land-based segment experienced increased revenue and EBITDA in the quarter, ending Q4 with an EBITDA margin of 10.8%. The company said: “The revenue increases as projects in the order book are being delivered. In addition there are several good project opportunities in both Norway, Scotland and Chile for Q1 and Q2 2018.”

In its report, AKVA said: “We have experienced a very strong quarter for new orders in Europe & Middle East as well as in the Americas. The order intake in Q4 2017 was NOK 557m (NOK 561m). The order backlog at the end of Q4 2017 was NOK 1,381m (NOK 998m). NOK 537m of total order backlog at end of Q4 is related to land based technology.

“Following a significant increase in order intake and order backlog in 2017, the outlook for AKVA group is positive for 2018.

“The activity in the Nordic cage-based segment as well as within services continue to be good. Services and after sales are having high priority in our strategy.

“The market conditions in Chile is expected to remain favourable and we have implemented improvements in the operations and product portfolio, which further strengthen our competitive position and presence in that market.

“The salmon farming industry expects growth in eastern Canada and Iceland and AKVA group has a good position to take part of the growth in these markets.

“The strategy to focus the ‘non-salmon’ activities around the Mediterranean Sea, 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 is at the beginning of 2018 in even better shape to compete in this segment, where we see increased demand and investments from our customers.”