Lerøy in positive mood despite a challenging year

Salmon pens in a blue sea with blue sky

Despite a number of biological challenges, the Lerøy Seafood group delivered better than expected 2023 fourth quarter results, with only a slight dip in profitability.

Although lower than a year earlier, the group, which is part owner of Scottish Sea Farms, produced an operational EBIT (operating profit) for Q4, before biomass adjustments, of NOK 765m (£56m) against NOK 822m (£60m) in Q4 2022.

The fourth quarter income was NOK 8.2bn (£609m) against NOK 7.1 bn (£526m) in Q4 2022.

Lerøy is an integrated fish farming, deep sea fishing and seafood production company which includes one of Norway’s largest trawler fleets, as well as being a major salmon producer.

The company harvested totalled 47,483 tonnes of salmon and trout during the quarter against 53,300 tonnes in Q4 2022.

The wild fish catch, mainly cod, haddock and saithe, totalled almost 12,500 tonnes.

CEO Henning Beltestad said that the whole of 2023 had been challenging, but he was proud of what had been achieved by the staff. He added: “We continue with full force to develop the most efficient and sustainable value chain for seafood.

“In 2024, we expect progress in our biological performance in aquaculture, as we move towards our goal of 205,000 harvested volume in Norway in 2025.”

The group produced a record turnover of just over NOK 30 billion (£2.2 bn) during the whole of 2023 and is recommending a dividend of NOK 2.5 per share for the year.

Beltestad said the company is introducing new technology this year, and focusing on smolt quality, to tackle some of the biological issues that proved so difficult last year.

The issues last year included attacks by string jellyfish (“pearl normanets”) and the loss of feeding days at Lerøy Aurora along with accelerated slaughter at Lerøy Sjotroll.


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