Lower costs played a part in more than doubling Salmones Camanchaca's net profits for Q4 2018.

Chilean salmon farmer doubles profit in Q4 2018

Chilean fish farmer Salmones Camanchaca more than doubled its net profit to US$10.4 million in the last quarter of 2018 compared to the same period the year before.

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The company harvested 13,944 tonnes WFE (whole fish equivalent) in Q4 2018, 14.4% more than in Q4 2017. The average sales price did not vary significantly at $5.90 per kilo WFE, up 3.8% in the period, reflecting a stable Chilean supply condition, according to Camanchaca’s latest income statements reported to the Financial Market Commission (CMF).

The company’s revenue increased 22.3% to $95.7m, driven by the 16.8% increase in the volume sold of Atlantic salmon, with inventory reduction compared to the end of the third quarter of 2018, and a slight rise in price of 3.8%.

Lower costs

EBITDA of $27.5m in Q4 2018 was 74% higher than Q4 2017, due to higher sales volumes and lower costs. Ex-cage live fish cost was lower than expected at $2.83 / Kg, 3.7% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 5.7% better than the long-term objective established by the company.

For 2018, the ex-cage cost of live fish was $3.06 / Kg, slightly above the long-term target value.

EBIT / Kg WFE for Camanchaca’s Atlantic salmon operation was $1.58 in the fourth quarter of 2018, which compares favourably with $0.99 / Kg WFE of the same period of 2017.

Trout deficit

As a result of all the above, the net profit of the salmon farmer reached $10.4min Q4 2018, more than doubling from $4.9m in Q4 2017.

A joint venture with Caleta Bay for trout farming in sites owned by Salmones Camanchaca (in force between 2016-2022), reported a loss for the company of $319,000 in the period, a bigger loss than the $122,000 deficit in Q4 2017, mainly due to the price drop of more than one dollar per kilo WFE (-18.3%), mitigated by a reduction in unit costs of 50 cents per WFE kilo.

The trout harvest volume for Q4 2018 was 4,828 tonnes WFE, the company reported to the CMF.