Atlantic Sapphire halved losses in 2022

johan-andreasson

Atlantic Sapphire chairman Johan Andreassen has spoken of “a challenging year” as the company announced it had reduced its losses by more than half during 2022.

The land-based land salmon farmer, situated in Miami, Florida, reported a net loss of US $65m (£52.4m), down from $133m (£107.1) in 2021.

Revenues were up by $2.1m to $19m (£15.3m) on a harvest of 2,253 tonnes (heads on gutted), 121 tonnes less than for last year.

The company said slaughter volumes should increase greatly as a result of stable operations this year when the harvest should start producing 9,500 tonnes of its Bluehouse salmon in annual slaughter volumes.

Atlantic Sapphire has attracted significant investment recently, raising $55m (£44.3m) through a private placement on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Chairman Andreassen said in the company’s 2022 annual report that Atlantic Sapphire had been faced with unforeseen setbacks and had missed its production and financial targets for the year.

“We decided to re-focus all our efforts from rapid growth to delivering profitability in our Phase 1 Bluehouse first, fixing issues that have impacted our fish negatively,” he said.

“These efforts have improved fish welfare and reduced operational risk, setting the stage for good biological performance in 2023.”

He outlined the most important operational improvements in 2022 as:

  • A full review and “reset” of the Ongrowing RAS systems, particularly the biofilters, to minimize the risk of sedimentation and anoxic areas. This also included installation of 100+ new camera inspection points to identify and tackle potential risks early on.
  • The commissioning of a new chiller system, the so-called “chiller bank”, which decreases operational risk, achieves significant financial savings and allows us to maintain lower and more stable water temperatures.
  • A new ozone system that has improved water clarity and reduced nutrient load.
  • Changes to the nutrition of the salmon that has had a positive effect on fillet colour.
  • Changes to organizational structure and protocols.
  • Additional tank lights installed across all systems to enhance appetite and mitigate maturation.

Andreassen said despite challenges, 2022 also brought a lot of positive developments as the company continued to mature.

“Our freshwater systems are consistently performing in line with the best smolt producers in the world.

“Our filleting line was installed and commissioned leading to increased quality control, yields and cost savings once we are at scale.

“With several years of experience running our Bluehouse, first in Denmark and then in the US, we know how much it costs to operate the facility and have executed on many cost saving opportunities.

“More have been identified for 2023. In Atlantic Sapphire, operational costs are generally fixed in nature, with feed being the notable exception.”

The success of the was based on reducing fixed costs, price achievement and, most importantly, increase feeding and thereby production. This will lower the cost per kilo of salmon produced, he stressed.

Concluding, Andreassen said: “In the bigger picture, the macro drivers behind our vision are more relevant than ever. Topics such as climate risk, global warming, GHG emissions, ocean acidification, effects on wild species, political risk and local food security have all become the centre of attention for our stakeholders.

“This gives us additional confidence that we’re doing the right thing. Similarly, on the consumer side, our brand awareness and its positive impact continued to increase, as Bluehouse Salmon has become ‘Friend of the Sea’ certified, and has earned the Seal of Approval from Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA).

“After a year with considerable heavy-lifting on the operational side, we are seeing improvements in the key parameters that will lead to higher productivity, fish health and product quality. We’re excited about what 2023 will bring.”

Johan Andreassen, CEO of Atlantic Sapphire

 

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