Kingfish Company production manager Braam Rohaan with one of the company's fish. Photo: Mees van den Ekart / Kingfish Zeeland.

Business going swimmingly for Kingfish Company

Netherlands-based fish farmer The Kingfish Company has reported encouraging production figures and price performance in a business update.

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The company produced 677 tonnes of yellowtail kingfish in 2020 in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility designed for annual production of 520 tonnes and achieved a productivity score of 0.64 kg growth/m³/day in the fourth quarter.

The Kingfish Company, which listed on the Euronext market in November after raising €50 million in a private placement, also managed to keep sales at the same level as those before the Covid-19 pandemic by shifting focus from the food service industry to retail.

The Kingfish Company has maintained sales growth despite Covid's impact on the food service industry. Graphic: The Kingfish Company presentation.

Retail products

The company increased small fish in retail in Southern Europe, introduced individually vacuum packed (IVP) boneless/skinless fixed weight portions, launched in Whole Foods UK in May and Hello Fresh in The Netherlands in November 20, advanced retail availability in Italy and is in an advanced development phase of several additional retail offerings across active markets.

“The closure or restaurants through 2020 required us to accelerate the development of our retail products, and yet the quality and versatility of our Dutch Yellowtail, and our commitment to environmentally friendly best practices enabled us to partner with blue chip retail and direct to consumer channels,” said chief executive Ohad Maiman.

“That agility contributed to maintaining pre-Covid sales run rates through the year.”

The first phase of expansion at Kingfish Zeeland has been completed, and work on a second phase is due to begin in the second quarter of this year. Danish RAS specialist Billund will deliver the technology. Infographic: The Kingfish Company presentation.

On time and on budget

The first phase of expansion at the company’s renewable energy-powered Kingfish Zeeland site in the Netherlands was completed on time and budget and has increased capacity to 1,250 tonnes.

Further expansion at the Zeeland site to 3,000 tonnes and the construction of a new RAS facility in Maine on the eastern US seaboard will ramp up total capacity to between 8,000 and 11,000 tonnes by 2023.

Plans for additional production facilities are under development for sites on the US Pacific Coast, additional capacity in Maine and in the EU.

€13.3 per kg

The company’s yellowtail averaged €13.3 (£11.69) per kg (whole fish equivalent) for large fish and €9.3 per WFE kg for small fish in 2020. Fish are harvested and delivered within 24 hours in Europe and air-freighted to the US weekly.

“Our mission is to further advance our first-mover position in technology driven aquaculture and continue to establish ourselves as a market leader in the sustainable production of high-value marine seafood,” said Maiman.

“The US development is a natural progression in our scale-up strategy, as we aim to capitalise on our proven ability to design, build, and operate advanced land-based technology, and enable local and reliable supply of otherwise import-dependent high value species.”