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Scottish Sea Farms' profit fell 38% to £21.1m last year

Cup half full: Scottish Sea Farms made a lower profit last year than in 2019 but expects a 50% increase in volume in 2021. Photo: SSF.
Cup half full: Scottish Sea Farms made a lower profit last year than in 2019 but expects a 50% increase in volume in 2021. Photo: SSF.

Scottish Sea Farms made a pre-tax profit of NOK 143 million (£21.1m) last year, a drop of almost 38% on the NOK 229m made by the Norwegian-owned salmon producer in 2019.

Operating profit for the fourth quarter of last year was NOK 76m, up 55% from the same period in 2019, but pre-tax profit for Q4 was lower at NOK 50m (Q4, 2019: NOK 152m).

The figures were included in the Q4 2020 report from SalMar, which co-owns SSF with fellow Norwegian salmon farmer Lerøy.

Lower harvest

SSF harvested 24,000 tonnes gutted weight last year, lower than the 26,000 tgw expected.

“The shortfall was due to the harvesting of fish with a low average weight at two sites during the period, as well as the decision to roll the biomass over into 2021,” reported SalMar.

“The quality of the standing biomass in all regions is good, and costs are expected to be lower in the first quarter 2021,” added SalMar, which said SSF expects to harvest 36,000 tgw of salmon in 2021, a 50% increase on 2020’s volume.

NOK 3bn for SalMar

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic that has depressed salmon prices, SalMar delivered a 2020 operating profit of NOK 3.007 billion, almost equal to the 2019 result of NOK 3.068bn.

Highlights of the fourth quarter of last year were:

  • Operating profit (EBIT) of NOK 413.8m, with EBIT per kilo of NOK 9.50
  • The Central Norway and Northern Norway segments delivered satisfactory results based on good biological and operational performance.
  • Lower salmon prices and a demanding market affected the result from sales and processing.
  • SalMar’s Iceland subsidiary, Icelandic Salmon, had a significantly lower ex-cage cost but made an operating loss of NOK 20m as a result of a demanding market with low salmon prices.
  • SalMar maintains an expected harvest volume for 2021 of 163,000 tonnes for Norway and 14,000 tonnes in Iceland. Because SSF is classed as an associate company, not a subsidiary, its volume is not counted in SalMar’s harvest figures.
  • The board recommends a dividend for 2020 of NOK 20 per share.
  • SalMar has strengthened the investment in sea-based farming to ensure sustainable growth in salmon conditions.