Tax takes huge bite out of Nordlaks profits for 2023

fish farm pen with leaping salmon, mountains in background

Despite record revenues and high salmon prices last year, the north Norwegian salmon farmer Nordlaks was left with greatly reduced profits.

The company is firmly blaming higher taxes for the slump in its profitability in 2023.

Nordlaks had a turnover of NOK 4.82bn (£360m) in 2023, representing an increase of NOK 372m (almost £28m) from the previous year. This was mainly due to higher prices and a weaker krone, which increased the value of its foreign earnings.

But the company’s taxes increased by 162% on 2022, which means the company will have a total tax bill of NOK 701m (£52m) on last year’s accounts .

Profit after tax was NOK 560m (£42m) – down by NOK 469m (£35m) in 2022.

Chief Executive Eirik Welde said the consequences of a significantly larger share of the profit going to tax meant that planned investments are being delayed.

“That means fewer new jobs and fewer assignments for the supplier industry, “ he added.

Nordlaks’ own production of salmon dropped from 54,000 tonnes in 2022 to 45,000 tonnes in 2023.

CEO Welde said: “It has been a challenging year. We have had attacks by pearl moths [jellyfish], a high incidence of lice due to the hot summer and winter sores.

“That’s not how we want it to be and when it comes to lice and winter sores, we work purposefully with lice lasers and vaccine development.”

On a brighter note, Nordlaks said it has had great success with the use of lasers against salmon lice.

He added: “We avoided lice removal which stresses the fish, which is both good fish welfare and provides better quality for our customers.

“I would also like to commend all our talented employees, who work hard every single day to solve the problems that arise. It is thanks to them that Nordlaks is the company we are today.”

Winter sores have been a major problem in the aquaculture industry for several years, but now all the fish at Nordlaks will be vaccinated with a new type of vaccine this coming winter.

Welde said: “We have tested a new vaccine which has shown good results so far. We therefore believe that the winter of 24/25 will be better when it comes to this problem.”

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