Fish health challenges hit Mowi’s Scottish operation

Mowi’s Scotland business endured a challenging year in 2022, the company has disclosed in its annual report published today.

The problems mainly centred around poor production and high mortality on stocks grown from externally sourced eggs, in addition to issues with micro-jellyfish bloom and SRS (Salmon Rickettsial Syndrome) following the warmest summer on record in Scotland.

The operational EBIT for salmon of Scottish origin was €42.6m (£37m) for the year ended December 31, 2022 compared with €77.2m (£68m) in 2021. Improved prices were more than offset by the different challenges.

The operational EBIT per kg was €0.89 in 2022 compared with €1.20 in 2021.

The report added: “Our EBIT (operational profit) for salmon of Scottish origin was €54.3m. (£47m) for the year ended December 31, 2022 compared with €85.1m (£74m) in 2021.

“The EBIT per kg was €1.12 in 2022 [£0.98] compared with €1.32 in 2021 [£1.16]. The reference price in euros increased on positive market developments and limited supply also in the Scottish market. “

Mowi said its price achievement for salmon of Scottish origin for the year was 1% above the reference price, compared with 17% above in 2021.

Price achievement last year was also negatively affected by contracts due to high spot prices, compared to 2021 where the contribution from contracts were positive.

The contract share was 71% in 2022 compared with 50% in 2021. The superior share was 96% in 2022 and 95% in 2021.

The better news is that towards the end of the year, biology improved with the colder temperatures and harvesting was reduced in order to build biomass.

The biological challenges also led to increased mortality costs, negative scale effects and general inflationary pressures, particularly in relation to feed.

“A total of €23.3m (£20m) was recognised as incident-based mortality in 2022, compared with €12.9m (£11m) in 2021,” the Scotland report concludes.

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