THE Lerøy Seafood Group today posted substantially higher earnings and profits for the final quarter of 2018.
The group, which owns a half share in Scottish Sea Farms, announced that Q4 revenues rose by NOK 773,000 to NOK 5,340 million.
Harvest total was up by 17 per cent 49,000 tonnes gutted weight of salmon and trout, but the company admitted it still had challenges with trout.
The operating profit was NOK 948 million in Q4 2018, compared with NOK 777 million in Q4 2017.
For 2018 as a whole, the group reported revenue of NOK 19,838 million, up by seven per cent on 2017.
However, the operating profit for 2018 was NOK 3,569 million compared with NOK 3,717 million for 2017.
The profit figure before tax and fair value adjustment related to biological assets in 2018 was NOK 3,697 million compared with NOK 3,805 million in 2017.
CEO Henning Beltestad (pictured) said the final part of 2018 marked the end of a good year for the group.
‘We achieved record high revenue and record high harvest volumes. Our release from stock costs for salmon and trout are down on 2017 but we still have plenty of potential to improve.’
The farming segment in Q4 reported operating profit before fair value adjustment related to biological assets of NOK 786 million compared with NOK 567 million in Q4 2017.
During the quarter, the farming segment harvested 49,000 tonnes, up from 42,000 tonnes in Q4 2017. In total, the EBIT or profit per kg for the segment was up from NOK 13.4 in Q4 2017 to NOK 15.9 in Q4 2018.
The VAP, Sales and Distribution segment reported Q4 revenues of NOK 5,128 million, up by 19 per cent compared with the same period in 2017. The operating profit was up from NOK 122 million in Q4 2017 to NOK 134 million in Q4 2018.
The group also owns Havfisk, one of Norway’s largest fishing fleets. Catches were down last year due to lower quotas, but significantly for processors in the UK and elsewhere is a rise of 20 per cent, 17 per cent and ten per cent in the prices of cod, haddock and saithe respectively.
Looking ahead, Lerøy said good underlying demand for seafood should result in satisfactory market conditions for the rest of this year.