Nordic Halibut still not in profit but growth plan is on track
Nordic Halibut saw its losses mount during the final quarter of last year, but the company said its investment programme is on track and prices achieved so far have been good.
The Q4 operating loss increased from NOK 5.1 million (£420,000) in Q4 2021 to NOK 13.3m (around £1.1m) this time. Operating income during the quarter was up slightly to NOK 32.3m (£2.6m).
Nordic Halibut, is one of a new generation of halibut and cod whitefish farmers to emerge on the Norwegian aquaculture scene, most of which are at an early growth stage so have yet to produce meaningful profits.
The company’s growth plan has production targets of 4.500 tonnes (HOG or heads on gutted) in 2026 and 9,000 tonnes (HOG) by 2030.
It said the first production milestone towards these production targets will be based on the number of fish put to sea this year, which it expects will be around a million juveniles, enabling an eventual run rate of 4,500 tonnes of halibut (HOG) .
The company said the build-up phase and other factors had led to increased expenses, but the volume ramp-up and planned growth towards 2026 and 2030 would have a significant impact on production costs and results.
The production ramp-up has been advancing according to plan with an all-time high figure of 700,800 fish put to sea during 2022 – equivalent to a harvest volume of 3,500 tonnes in 2025.
With promising biological performance throughout production, however, the company was still confident that the scale effect when target volumes are reached will be significant.
It added: “To reach this production target Nordic Halibut will build a new land-based facility at Tingvoll, Norway that will produce 1.25 million juveniles annually from 2027 – enabling production of 9,000 tonnes HOG halibut from 2030.
“The approval of the zoning plan during February 2023 and the overall project progression in 2022 and 2023 strengthens current timeline estimates for facility completion. “
The report says Nordic Halibut is well positioned and on track to deliver on long-term production targets with strong biological results and growth plan proceeding according to plan.
The company exceeded its 2022 revenue target by 7%, ending at NOK 80 million (£6.43m). Revenue in Q4 2022 ended at NOK 32m (£2.57m), up 4% YoY on lower harvest volumes and higher price achievement
Nordic Halibut saw improved average sales prices during Q4 2022 with the achieved price for fresh, whole halibut ending at 165 NOK/kg HOG (£13.26, +17% YoY).
The company has issued a guidance harvest volume of 1,200 tonnes for 2023, equivalent to 1.080 tonnes HOG.