The figures are in stark contrast to the same period last year, when margins were negative. The profit boost results from higher selling prices caused by the restriction on supply due to the algal bloom in south Chile in 2016, and lower production costs achieved by improving healthcare environments and efficiency savings.
Stable health conditions and a productivity plan implemented since last year have played a key role.
Los Fiordos’ results have helped ease the pain of setbacks for parent company Agrosuper. Its turkey operation was hit by the outbreak of bird flu earlier this year. The poultry and pork exporter has also felt the impact of a higher tax rate.
Agrosuper revealed a net income of $27.815 million, 14.2 per cent lower than that obtained the first quarter of 2016. That was partially offset by a better result in its salmon subsidiary, helping the EBITDA margin for the quarter to reach 14.8 per cent.
Despite a poor first quarter last year, Los Fiordos reported a pre-tax profit of $48.3 million for 2016, compared with a loss of $101.8m the year before. Revenue leaped 82 per cent to $383m in 2016, from $210.7m a year earlier.
Los Fiordos’ turnaround in profitability was matched by Australis Seafoods, Blumar, Multiexport Foods and Pesquera Camanchaca which all reported surging profits in the second half of last year after the outbreak of algal curtailed global supply. By contrast, every single salmon farmer in Chile made a loss in 2015.