AKVA sees good Q4 results despite ‘headwinds’

Aquaculture technology and services group AKVA has reported increased revenues and a return to profit for the fourth quarter of 2020, despite the challenges of Covid-19 and a cyber-attack that disrupted the company.
In its results for Q4, the Norwegian-based group reported revenue of NOK 770m (+18% on Q4 2019). EBITDA was NOK 53m (Q4 2019: NOK -40m) and net profit was 3m (Q4 2019: -85m).
AKVA is paying a half-year dividend of NOK 1.00 per share.
AKVA’s biggest division, Cage Based Technology (CBT), reported revenue of NOK 593m for the quarter (Q4 2019: NOK 529m), while EBITDA was NOK 37m (Q4 2019: NOK 31m). Revenue was up in the Nordics ((+12.3%) and Americas (+14.6&) while Europe and the Middle East held steady.
AKVA’s Chief Executive Officer Knut Nesse said that CBT had been affected by “quality issues” reported in the fourth quarter that reflected problems during the year.
The Land Based Technology (LBT) division saw some major wins during 2020, including the Nordic Aqua Partners project in Ningbo, China. LBT revenue was NOK 157m (up 42.7% from NOK 110m in Q4 2019), EBITDA was NOK 8m (Q4 2019: -77m) and EBIT was NOK 9m (Q4 2019: -82m).
AKVA’s Digital Solutions division recorded revenue of NOK 20m (Q4 210; 16m), EBITDA of NOK 7m (Q4 2019: NOK 5m) and EBIT of NOK 5m (Q4 2019: NOK 3m).
Nesse said that he expected revenue from the LBT division to start increasing in the second half of this year, once work on the ground gets going on AKVA’s major land-based projects.
AKVA is still counting the cost of a major cyber-attack late last year. Nesse quantified the cost as NOK 40m-50m but said that deliveries to customers had not been seriously affected.
AKVA group’s financial position remains strong, the Q4 report said. Working capital as a percentage of 12 months rolling revenue is 8.5% (9.3%). Cash and unused credit facilities amounted to 521 MNOK (565) at the end of Q4. Total assets and total equity amounted to 3,258 MNOK (3,034 MNOK) and 1,022 MNOK (991) respectively, resulting in an equity ratio of 31.4% (32.7%) at the end of Q4 2020.
Knut Nesse said: “The company is fully financed to execute our strategy.”
The company’s report concluded: “In the short term, the company expects some headwind both in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and costs related to cyber-attack. Long term fundamentals remain, however, unchanged.”



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