Arctic Fish hits 2023 record despite escape crisis

Arctic Fish, Westfjords

Iceland’s Arctic Fish produced an operational profit or EBIT of €3.2 million (£2.7m) in 2023, the first full year under Mowi ownership.

This was in spite of serious escape issues during the summer which led to a backlash in Iceland against open pen salmon farming.

The company said the financial biological performance improved somewhat after a very challenging third quarter when the escapes took place.

The fourth quarter harvest volume was 2,529 tonnes gutted weight in the fourth quarter. The positive deviation versus guided volumes was mainly due to good production.

Harvest volumes for the full year of 11,878 tonnes were all-time high for Arctic Fish.

The company said during the fourth quarter, price achievement “was negatively impacted by temporary logistics issues. “

It is not just Scotland and parts of Norway with biological problems. Iceland too is being affected and Arctic Fish said its operational performance in the final quarter, and the year as a whole, bears the mark of a challenging autumn with lice problems.

But it adds: “Biology is now however good with low mortality and reasonably good growth given the prevailing seawater temperatures. Costs in the quarter were positively impacted by insurance income.

“Primary processing cost for Arctic Fish has been significantly higher than in Mowi’s other farming operations. “

Its new primary processing facility in Bolungarvík is now fully operational and all of the company’s volumes were harvested at the plant in the final quarter.

“Consequently, Arctic Fish is no longer dependent on external harvesting capacity and the Bolungarvík processing plant is expected to improve operational efficiency and the cost level over time,” said the report.

“Our clear goal is to develop Arctic Fish into a streamlined and cost-effective operation. This includes improved lice strategy and treatment capacity which is a priority for the company. In addition, the bureaucracy around treatment approvals by the authorities must be streamlined.”

Arctic Fish said costs are expected to increase in the first quarter on seasonally lower volumes.


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