THE AKVA group, one of the main technology and service providers to the aquaculture sector, achieved an order intake of four billion kroner – or £311 million – last year, it has revealed in its annual report.
CEO Knut Nesse described 2019 as a year of ‘significant milestones’ with revenues of more than NOK 3 billion (£233 million), which has helped bring about significant growth since 2016.
The group now has a record high backlog of orders in the pipeline, worth some NOK 2.3 billion (£179 million).
But there was also a note of criticism from the CEO, who said: ‘However, as the fourth quarter results revealed, our project execution capabilities have not been at the highest standards – improvement initiatives are, and will be, in focus going forward within the areas of project management as well as learning and development.’
He added: ‘As AKVA group is operating in a very attractive industry, with increasing focus on costs, technology, sustainability, fish welfare, as well as improved and new farming methods, I strongly believe that AKVA group has a unique position that can yield profitable growth for the future.
‘To obtain such we will step up our efforts within innovation, in partnership with our customers – our position needs to be deserved.’
On cage based technology, the report said the acquisition, in August 2018 of Egersund Net, which offers a variety of fish nets and service stations along the Norwegian coast, had now been fully integrated and was contributing revenue worth more than NOK 700 million (£54 million).
‘More than half of the revenue stems from the service activity,’ said the report. ‘In 2019, we have made plans and started building another service station at the very north of Norway, as well as approving investments in one additional station.
‘Having Egersund Net as a group member has allowed for complete solution and service offerings, which will clearly be beneficial going forward.
‘Our Americas region continues to deliver improved results, and substantial improvements in offerings has been made in 2019.’
AKVA has also secured a substantial order to deliver feed barges to Chile.
Turning to land based technology, the report says: ‘Significant investments have been made, and the pipeline of projects for large RAS facilities are strong.
‘AKVA group has unique experience and a very strong position to continue to grow in this area. Our focus has been on salmon, and to expand our capabilities globally.’
Last year, the company, under AKVA group Land Based, secured contracts in Norway, as well as America.
It also has a co-operation agreement with Cooke Aquaculture in Canada with the potential for several large land based smolt projects.
Looking to the future, AKVA said: ‘The increased need for marine proteins and constantly challenging demands for sustainability and cost efficient production methods results in a wealth of opportunities.
‘However, our position needs to be deserved, and for sure, 2020 will represent a big step forward with regards to improving and professionalising the group.’
On Covid-19, the CEO said the company recognised the challenges it was likely to present and it had put together a programme to ensure security of supply during the crisis and monitor the liquidity of the company.