ISI group posts loss in ‘challenging year’

Iceland Seafood International chief executive, Bjarni Ármannsson, has spoken of a challenging year for the company caused by cost inflation and the impact of war in the Ukraine.

ISI’s portfolio includes extensive salmon interests in Spain and Ireland as well as its loss-making UK subsidiary, Grimsby-based Icelandic Seafood UK. ISI put up the latter up for sale last year, but later withdrew after two offers collapsed, opting to keep the Grimsby operation for now. However, the sale option may be revisited later this year.

The main financial highlights were:

  • Sales for 2022: €420.8m (euros), up 11% from 2021.
  • Net margin for 2022: €46.3m (£40.8m), up €1.0m from 2021 but down €1.6m on like-for-like basis.
  • Normalised profit before tax for 2022: €12.4m (£10.9m), down €7.1m from 2021.
  • Loss from Iceland Seafood UK (IS UK) in 2022: €18.2m (£16m).
  • Net loss for the ISI group in full year 2022 (under International Financial Reporting Standards): €9.9m (£8.7m) compared to €8.8m profit in 2021.

CEO Ármannsson told shareholders: “The year was characterised by the war in Ukraine, which caused disruptions in supply chains and excessive increase in input costs – which we struggled to push on to our customers, and in any case, with a time lag.

“As input prices continued to increase, we were constantly pushing through insufficient price increases, once they came through the system. This vicious cycle cost us dearly.

“But Iceland Seafood is in it for the long term. We pride ourselves by being close to the market, and that our customers can rely on our ability to deliver our products at the quality standards required.

“We are now seeing cost of input factors stabilise, and in some cases, decline, so we are now operating in a more normal environment. We continue our sustainability efforts, to measure and reduce our carbon footprint, and create the necessary balance with the nature going forward.”

He added: “Iceland Seafood had a particularly rough period in our UK operations, and in November, we decided to put our value-added assets in Grimsby for sale.

“It was, then, the results of our evaluation in the beginning of February this year to continue the operation, as we believe we are better off that way.

“We still intend to participate in consolidation in the industry in the UK, which is badly needed. Despite this, most of our other operations managed well in turbulent waters, a sign of the solid and stable foundation they are built on.”

He said future visibility was not as good as the company would like, but it would remain true to its roots and 90 year history by continuing to invest its brands and in automation and sustainability.

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