Pan Fish still losing money, company admits –

Pan Fish still losing money, company admits Published:  29 August, 2003

THE NORWEGIAN giant Pan Fish has posted losses for its aquaculture division.

PAN FISH, the parent company of Scottish salmon producer Lighthouse of Scotland, has warned it faces a “critical situation” as it looks to do a deal with its creditors over huge debts.

The world’s second biggest salmond farmer said it had lost 20.4m kroner in the second quarter of 2003, blaming dropping prices for salmon for its fortunes.

Though the losses were an improvement on the same period last year, when the company lost 90.6m kroner, the report still made worrying reading for analysts.

Pan Fish’s Scottish subsidiary, Lighthouse of Scotland, has 40 sites.

Atle Eide, the chief executive of Pan Fish, insisted it was seeing benefits from ongoing restructuring.

Eide said: “Pan Fish is currently facing a critical situation but we are convinced that the company will emerge much stronger from this phase.”

He added: “We can see that the measures implemented are having a postived result for operations.”

Eide said he hoped the company could complete a refinancing deal by mid-September.

The chief executive added: “Once refinancing has been established, we are positive towards the long term development. We are therefore maintaining our target to become one of the companies producing at lowest cost in all our regions.”

Pan Fish’s difficulties with plunging salmon prices have been compounded by high repayments required to service £408m of debts.

Lighthouse of Scotland cut its production earlier this year because of a glut of salmon on world markets.