The increase comes on the back of seasonally record high harvest volumes, lower costs and all-time high earnings in Chile.
“Demand for our products remains strong and has resulted in high prices in all markets. Good operational performance and seasonally record high harvest volumes, have also contributed to good results for the group”, said Mowi chief executive, Alf-Helge Aarskog.
Scotland was a stand-out performer, making an operational EBIT of €35.8m (Q1 2018: €16.1m) on increased volumes and decreased costs. These more than offset the effects of lower prices.
Scottish earnings were the equivalent of €2.27 per kg (€1.85 per kg), the highest in the Mowi group apart from Ireland, which earned €4.38 per kg for its organic salmon.
Biological costs per kg in Scotland decreased by 13% from the corresponding quarter of 2018, particularly related to feed costs and health costs.
Non-seawater costs decreased by 19% on cost reductions and positive scale effects.
Incident-based mortality losses in the amount of €0.2 million were recognised in the quarter, compared to €1.0 million in the first quarter of 2018.
Sea lice levels at the end of the quarter were lower than at the end of the corresponding quarter in 2018.
Production was higher than in Q1 2018 because of increased opening biomass, improved survival rate and favourable temperatures.
More from Canada
Operational EBIT for Mowi Canada increased to €13.9m (€7.2m), the equivalent of €1.41 per kg (€1.10 per kg), mainly related to Mowi Canada East.
Despite falling market prices, Mowi Canada achieved higher prices in the first quarter of 2019 compared with Q1 2018. Prices were positively affected by the size distribution of the harvested fish and favourable prices for sales performed by Mowi Canada East.
The harvest volume was 9,838 tgw (6,592 tgw), with the increase due to the acquisition of Northern Harvest in Atlantic Canada.
Canada’s biggest wellboat, the Aqua Tromøy, was delivered to Mowi Canada West during Q1 2019 and is expected to have a positive effect on sea lice levels.
Record in Chile
In Chile operational EBIT amounted to a record-high €29.2m (€16.8m), mainly related to improved volumes.
In Ireland operational EBIT amounted to €6.2m in the first quarter (€6.4m), which was €4.38 per kg (€4.37 per kg).
The effect of higher prices was offset by increased costs.
Harvest volume was 1,422 tgw (1,457 tonnes).
In the Faroes operational EBIT amounted to €1.9m (€1.5m), which was €1.69 per kg (€1.44 per kg). The increase from the first quarter of 2018 is due to higher prices.
Harvest volume was 1,126 tgw (1,030 tgw), with the majority sold to Eastern Europe.
Mowi harvested 56,135 tgw (51,050 tgw) in Norway, making operational EBIT of €116.1m (€115.6m).