Grieg Shetland's smolt facility at Girlsta. More robust, healthier smolts have improved survival rates.

Robust smolts boost Grieg Shetland survival rate

Grieg Seafood Shetland improved its salmon survival rate, harvest volume and financial performance in the first quarter of this year, its Norwegian parent company Grieg Seafood ASA said in its Q1 2020 report.

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The 12-month survival rate of its salmon rose to 88% in Q1, compared to 85% in the same period last year.

The improvement was attributed to more robust and healthier smolts and was achieved despite high sea lice pressure resulting in mechanical treatments which negatively impacted survival rates, superior share and the cost per kilo.

Grieg Shetland had a positive Q1 despite issues with sea lice. Click on image to enlarge. Graphics: Grieg.

22% revenue increase

Revenues for the Shetland operation amounted to NOK 149.8 million in Q1 2020, an increase of 22% compared to Q1 2019 due to higher volume and currency effects. Harvest volume was 2,047 tonnes, an increase of 14% compared to Q1 2019.

EBIT per kg before fair value adjustment of biological assets was NOK 6.80 compared to NOK -13.93 in Q1 2019 and NOK -3.84 in Q4 2019.

The company expects to harvest 3,900 tonnes in Shetland in Q2, and a total of 17,000 tonnes in 2020.

BC survival rate up

In Canada, Grieg Seafood BC improved 12-month survival rate to 89% in Q1, up from 88% in the previous quarter.

Harvest volume was 2,544 tonnes, up 63% compared to Q1 2019, mainly due to the cyclicality of the site utilisation and fallowing procedures in British Columbia.

Revenues were NOK 180.3 million, an increase of 81% compared to Q1 2019, driven mainly by increased harvest volume and currency effects.

EBIT per kilo before fair value adjustment of biological assets was NOK 15.68, compared to NOK 14.54 in Q1 2019 and NOK 9.11 in Q4 2019.

Harvest and EBIT were up in BC. Click on image to enlarge. Graphics: Grieg.

Expansion delayed

Grieg said the expansion of its Gold River smolt facility in BC had been delayed due to the Covid-19 situation.

Writing about the pandemic’s potential impact on sales and prices in coming months, Grieg said it had identified approximately NOK 200-300 million related to growth investments, including the Gold River facility, which could be delayed short-term without any material impact on short-term harvest plans or medium- to long-term growth ambitions.

However, Grieg Seafood BC is expected to increase the smolt capacity from 500 tonnes to 900 tonnes, with the first smolt going to sea in autumn 2021.

Grieg BC expects to harvest 10,000 tonnes of salmon in Q2, half of its total harvest for 2020.


Grieg’s Rogaland and Finnmark regions in Norway remain its biggest contributors in terms of volume, although Finnmark’s EBIT per kilo of NOK 4.44 was the lowest of the four regions in Q1 due to winter ulcers and early harvesting at one site affected by infectious salmon anaemia (ISA).

Rogaland produced 6,944 tonnes with an EBIT per kilo of NOK 24.7, and Finnmark harvested 6,827 tonnes.

Rogaland is expected to harvest 4,000 tonnes in Q2 and 25,000 tonnes for 2020. Finnmark is projected to harvest 7,000 tonnes in Q2 and 38,000 tonnes for the full year.

Grieg said it remained on track to meet its harvest target of 100,000 tonnes for 2020.