Icelandic announce 'below expectations' results – Fishupdate.com

Icelandic announce ‘below expectations’ results Published:  17 August, 2007

The company is a major supplier of fish and seafood to leading supermarkets like Marks & Spencer

THE Icelandic Group, which owns major fish processing operations in Britain, Europe and around the world, turned in disappointing second quarter results, it was revealed today.

Sales for the second quarter of 2007 (April to June inclusive) were 344-million euros (about £234-million sterling) and for the first six months of 2007, totalled 729.2-million euros or around £496-million.

This represented a second quarter drop in income of two per cent.

The Icelandic Group Plc. is a holding company controlling an international network of production and marketing companies selling seafood products on the international markets with emphasis on frozen fish.

In Britain, Icelandic own Coldwater Seafoods at Grimsby and Redditch in the Midlands, and has a majority stake in Grimsby-based Seachill. The company is a major supplier of fish and seafood to leading supermarkets like Marks & Spencer and Tesco. In several markets the company enjoys a prominent position of its Icelandic brand especially within the food service sector.

The company said that earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation, (EBITDA) amounted to €18.5-million in half year and €4.3-million. The operating profit amounted to €9-million in half year, but the second quarter showed an operating loss of half a million euros.

Icelandic Group chief executive Björgólfur Jóhannsson, said: “The operations of the second quarter 2007 were not up to expectations. The main deviations are due to the delay in the transfer of production between companies in Europe. Improvements in operations due to the transfer will not have an effect until in the second half of the year.”

He added that group operations were stonger during the latter half of the year and if the estimated sales hold, the EBITDA was calculated at €35- million for the latter half and the total EBITDA for the year should come out at around € 54-million.

The group is in the middle of a major restructuring exercise in Britain, Europe and the United States.Most of Coldwater’s frozen fish operations in Grimsby have just been transferred to the recently acquired plant at Wimille in Northern France, while in America the group has closed a seafood factory in New England and transferred production to a more modern site in Virginia. The benefits of both these measures have probably yet to show through in the accounts. No mention is made of rising fish prices or the impact of severe quota cuts yet to come into force, but they are sure to have an impact on all fish processors.

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