Salmon tax could cost Mowi £50m this year, warns CEO

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MOWI has said the Norwegian government’s new salmon tax will cost the business around £50m this year if there  is no change to the proposal.

The world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon  yesterday announced record first quarter profits of €322m (£280m) and is paying over a billion kroner (£740m) in dividends to shareholders.

Mowi also recorded its highest revenue ever of €1,362 million (£1.56bn).

Presenting the group’s latest results yesterday  Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim said that like the rest of the Norwegian aquaculture industry, it was “anxiously” awaiting the final details of the salmon ground rent tax proposal which is calling for a rate of 35%.

Negotiations among Norway’s many different political parties were now in full swing to get a solution in place by 16 May when the finance committee meets.

CEO Vindheim said: “For the first quarter, Mowi’s ‘conservative calculation’ of the effect of the basic income tax is €57m or NOK 661 million. This [figure]  has not yet been included in the accounts.

He added: “This tax level is neither sustainable nor compatible with the government’s stated growth ambitions for the industry.

“If the tax is passed in Parliament, it will cause enormous damage to the Norwegian aquaculture industry in the form of reduced investment and lost jobs.”

He added defiantly: “We will fight until the cramp takes us.”

Mowi also said it is experiencing cost increases due to general inflation although feed cost rises appeared to be levelling off after peaking towards the end of last year. However higher costs are expected during the current quarter, Q2 of this year.

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