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Marine Harvest Scotland's Loch Torridon site. MH Scotland harvested 18,500 tonnes of salmon in Q2. Image: Rob Fletcher
Marine Harvest Scotland's Loch Torridon site. MH Scotland harvested 18,500 tonnes of salmon in Q2. Image: Rob Fletcher

MH Scotland’s production costs may have risen by 28% in the final quarter of 2016, due to the need to harvest “sites with a challenging health status”, but the company believes that its biological performance will improve considerably in 2017.

The group’s Q4 report, which was published today, states that “prior biological challenges have contributed to a high cost level for salmon of Scottish origin…[but] the cost level has improved compared to the third quarter of 2016, due to a general improvement in the biological performance of the fish being harvested.”

Another positive highlighted in the report has been the performance of MH Scotland’s non-seawater costs per kg, which “have decreased compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, mainly due to reduced incident-based mortality. In the fourth quarter of 2016, incident-based mortality of EUR 0.9 million was recognized, compared to EUR 5.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.”

There seems to be an air of optimism about the year ahead and the report continues: “Expanded use of mechanical lice mitigation tools, such as lice flushers and well boats, have contributed to an improved health situation. Marine Harvest Scotland has also initiated projects with the aim of increasing the capacity for production of cleaning fish. As a result of improved biology, growth performance has been favorable in the quarter. The company will continue to have a strong focus on feeding and improved growth in order to further streamline and optimize its operations. The cost level is expected to further decrease somewhat in 2017, based on the performance of fish at the sites which will be harvested.”

Q4 highlights: Scotland

Operational EBIT: EUR 21.7 million (-4.2 million)

EBIT/kg: EUR 1.83 per kg (EUR -0.30).

Harvest volume: 11,805 tonnes (14,095 tonnes).


Q4 highlights: overall 

Operational EBIT of EUR 259 million (EUR 90 million).

Quarterly dividend: NOK 2.80 per share.

Total harvest volume: 99,634 tonnes (110 551 tonnes.

“Driven by high salmon prices on strong demand and reduced supply, we achieved record high operational results in the fourth quarter. It is very encouraging to see strong operational performance in all our entities,” says CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog.

“2016 was a great year for Marine Harvest, with both record earnings and cash flow generation. I am very proud of the work all our colleagues have put in to achieve these results,” Aarskog adds.