Mowi chief executive Ivan Vindheim: Pleased with performance in Norway.

Mowi passed €1bn in operating profit for first time last year

World's biggest salmon farmer harvested 464,000 gutted weight tonnes in 2022

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The world’s biggest salmon farmer, Mowi, made an operating profit that passed the €1 billion mark for the first time last year, it said today.

Revenue of €4.946 billion was also a new record for the company in a year defined by consistently strong prices for salmon.

The fourth quarter of 2022 brought record revenues of €1.362 bn, and operating profit was €239 million, compared with €146 m in the corresponding quarter of 2021.

Mowi harvested 131,000 gutted weight tonnes in Q4 and a total of 464,000 gwt in 2022, which was 4,000 gwt more than guided one year ago, despite a 10,000-gwt reduction in Scotland. In Mowi’s home country, Norway, harvest volumes reached a record-high level of 294,000 gwt.

Progress in Norway

“I am pleased to see the tremendous progress we have made in Norway in recent years. An abundance of consistent hard work has propelled Mowi towards the top when it comes to licence utilisation and production efficiency in this country,” said chief executive Ivan Vindheim.

Harvest volume guidance of 484,000 tonnes for 2023 represents an all-time high level and includes an anticipated 15,000 gwt from Mowi’s newest subsidiary, Arctic Fish, in Iceland. This will equate to volume growth of as much as 109,000 tonnes in five years.

Mowi bought just over 51% of Arctic Fish towards the end of last year. “Iceland is Mowi’s seventh farming country and was the last spot missing from our geographical footprint,” Vindheim said in a press release. “We are looking forward to further developing the company together with the other owners and a highly competent and motivated organisation.”

Consumer Products

Mowi said its Consumer Products secondary processing division had another strong quarter and an outstanding year, setting both operational and financial records on good consumer demand and impressive operational performance.

“Annual operational profit of €112 million and volumes of 229,000 tonnes product weight are extremely impressive results. Mowi will further enhance our value proposition downstream in the years to come and our branding strategy, with its ultimate goal of de-commoditising the salmon category, plays a key part in this context,” Vindheim said.

Mowi Feed also recorded its best quarter and best year so far with an operating profit of €21 m and €47 m respectively.

“Feed performance was very strong throughout 2022, which is of paramount importance to Mowi as the world’s largest salmon farmer. Feed production reached 515,000 tonnes for the year, an increase of 7% from 2021, and this is expected to grow further in 2023,” Vindheim said.

Cutting costs

Mowi has an ongoing cost-cutting programme which includes reducing staff while increasing productivity by 10%. It has reduced its payroll costs by 1,346 full-time equivalent (FTEs) posts since 2018, primarily through not replacing staff who retire, reduced overtime, and reduced contracted labour. It plans to reduce its 13,652-strong by a further 435 FTEs this year.

The company realised €48 m in annualised cost savings in 2022, well ahead of its €25 m target, and is initiating a new €25 m cost savings programme for 2023, including energy savings of 28 GWh or 3%.

Mowi has made total cost savings of €230 m between 2018-2022, of which €124 m have come in its Farming division.