Henning Beltestad is pleased with the way things are going.

Strong biology for Lerøy


Salmon farmer and fishing company Lerøy Seafood Group made an operating profit of NOK 842 million for the first quarter of 2024, which is 15% lower than in Q1 2023.

Aquaculture accounted for NOK 576 m of Q1 2024 operating profit, on seasonally low harvest volumes of 26,3676 gutted weight tonnes of salmon and trout, 8% lower volume than in the same period last year.

Chief executive Henning Beltestad said: “We have had a good quarter in Farming with strong biological development. Considering the very cold sea temperatures, our fish are growing well. It is also very pleasing to note significant improvement in biology and earnings at Scottish Sea Farms.”

SSF is owned 50/50 by Lerøy and SalMar and made an operating profit of £10.2m in Q1 after losses in Q2, Q3, and Q4 last year.

Shielding technology

Lerøy’s value added products and sales and distribution sector made an operational EBIT of NOK 176 m in the first quarter, driven by operational improvements, high-capacity utilisation in Norway, and increased product prices.

“With our fully integrated value chain, we have a favourable position with high processing capacity in Norway, which we have utilised well in the quarter. We have good momentum and have succeeded in reversing the trend in several downstream businesses,” Beltestad said.

The company’s implementation of shielding technology is showing promising results, with minimal need for sea lice treatments, he said.

Lerøy is using submersible pens and semi-closed containment to protect fish and had close to 20% of its fish shielded by last month. It is aiming to increase that to 30-35% by the end of the year.

The first harvest of shielded salmon is expected in Q3 2024.

Better genetics

“We are [also] introducing better genetics and have made important process improvements in ova and smolt. The result is a more robust fish that grows better. We are also increasing the share of trout production, which historically has better biological performance, at Lerøy Sjøtroll (the company’s southern Norway region),” said Beltestad.

The company has reduced its anticipated Norway harvest for 2025 by 5,000 gwt to 200,000 gwt due to reductions on production imposed under the government’s “traffic light system”.

It expects to harvest 175,000 gwt in Norway this year.