Icelandic group plans $8 million US seafood expansion –

Icelandic group plans $8 million US seafood expansion Published:  09 June, 2010

THE Icelandic Group is planning an eight million dollar expansion of its seafood operation in the United States.

The group, which also has extensive investment in the UK through its Grimsby-based Seachill and Coldwater Seafoods operations, wants to build an 87,700 square foot to its factory and headquarters in Newport News, Virginia.

Rick Barnhardt, a vice president at Icelandic USA, said the expansion to its offices on Enterprise Drive in the Oakland Industrial Park will bring all operations under one roof, and will prepare for the possible future growth of the company. He said if demand increased , the company  look at taking on more people, but as of now there are no firm plans to do so.

He added: “Last year was a tough year for the restaurant industry, but we expect that it will rebound in a couple of years,” Mr Barnhardt said. “We’re proud of the business we have and we’re working hard to grow it.”

The $8.4 million private investment will likely include a $400,000 loan from the Newport News Economic Development Authority. The company intends complete building work by this time next year.

Icelandic USA is a major supplier to fast food restaurants and grocery retailers throughout North America.  The company is part of the large international Icelandic Group constitutes an international network of independent companies, each operating in its own market area in the production and sale of seafood products. In the United States, United Kingdom, France, Denmark and Germany the Group operates processing plants for value added products but in addition there are the sales and marketing companies selling natural seafood products. Last year the company announced a significant improvement in its global financial results and a return to profit after tax.