Bremnes warns tax burden may halt new factory plan

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Norwegian salmon company Bremnes Seashore has warned that it may be forced to shelve plans for a new processing facility because of the Oslo government’s increasing tax burden on the industry.

The NOK 400 million (£35m) factory and cold store is planned for Kvednavikjo in the south west of the country.

The warning was delivered by Simon Nesse Økland, the family owned company’s communications director, at the Aqkva conference in Bergen this week. He said there would no money to build the factory if the latest plans for a “ground rent” tax go through.

Aqkva, which focuses on technology and general aquaculture development, is the first industry related gathering of the year.

Økland said the tax burden is already too high, pointing to the wealth tax on family businesses, plus the dividend tax and now the proposed ground rent tax. Taken together, he said, the company could face a total tax rate of 80%.

He said there is no money to build the new Salma brand factory at Kvednavikjo, but a final decision would be made once the Storting (Norway’s parliament) has taken a decision on the ground rent tax.

Økland also said the tax proposals favour foreign owners over those resident in Norway.

Bremnes Seashore is not only a family business but is one of the country’s oldest seafood related companies, with roots going back to the 1930s. It started fish farming in the 1960s, first with rainbow trout and later, salmon.

It unveiled plans for a new processing facility more than a year ago to increase production for its SALMA and BOMLO brands. It was initially hoped to complete construction of the facility this year.

CEO Einar Eide said at the time the project was announced: “The new factory will allow us to process significantly larger volumes than today while increasing the range of products.”

SALMA smoked salmon

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