Grieg harvested 20% more fish than guided in Shetland in the first quarter of this year.

Grieg Shetland harvest topped 2,000 tonnes in Q1

Grieg Seafood Shetland harvested 2,047 gutted weight tonnes of salmon in the first quarter of this year, 20% more than the 1,700 gwt previously guided.

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Preliminary EBIT/kg for Shetland was NOK 4.97 (£0.38), Grieg said in a trading update today.

The harvest volume in British Columbia, Canada was 2,543 gwt, 443 gwt higher than expectations, and preliminary EBIT/kg was NOK 16.

Grieg harvested 6,944 gwt (guidance 6,000 gwt, EBIT/kg NOK 24.5) in the Rogaland region of Norway, and 6,827 gwt (guidance 7,000 gwt, EBIT/kg NOK 4.65) in the Finnmark region.

The total harvest volume was 18,362 gwt, nearly 1,600 tonnes more than the 16,800 gwt guided in February.

Winter ulcers

“We have had more biological challenges than usual in the Finnmark region during the quarter,” stated Grieg.

“As communicated in the Q4 2019 report, Finnmark experienced unusual prevalence of winter ulcers on fish in one of our production areas, reducing fish welfare and harvest quality.

“This situation persisted throughout the first quarter, resulting in significant downgrades which impacted achieved prices negatively. While the situation is temporary, we are working systematically to identify why this incident has occurred and will put in place measures to avoid future occurrences.

Significant earnings decrease

“In addition, a large portion of the harvest came from one site infected by infectious salmon anaemia (ISA). Direct costs related to ISA handling and lower average weight from accelerated harvesting, increased cost per kilo and further reduced achieved prices.

“Combined, these issues resulted in significant earnings decrease for Grieg Seafood Finnmark, reporting an EBIT/kg of NOK 4.56 in Q1 2020, compared to EBIT/kg of NOK 25.01/kg in Q1 2019.

“Operations in the other regions were in line with expectations during the quarter and according to plan.”

Grieg expects to harvest 100,000 tonnes of salmon this year.