A STRONG demand for salmon and higher prices have helped newly branded Mowi make an impressive New Year debut.
The company, which has changed its name from Marine Harvest, today reported a 2018 fourth quarter operational EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) of €213 million, up from €181 million for the corresponding period in 2017.
For the full year, Mowi made an operational EBIT of €753 million. This, said the company in a statement, is the second best year ever financially for the group.
It achieved operational Q4 revenues of €1,074 million and, for the whole of 2018, a record high turnover of €3,815 million.
The total harvest volume for the fourth quarter was 105,783 tonnes (112,628 tonnes in Q4 2017). The harvest guidance for 2019 is 430,000 tonnes. The board said it planned to pay a quarterly dividend of NOK 2.60 per share, ‘supported by good results, a strong market outlook, and a solid financial position’.
In Scotland, there were reduced costs due to improved biology and good growth, with significantly higher biomass in the sea. Volume guidance for 2019 is up to 60,000 tonnes (GWT), due to increased smolt stockings.
CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog said: ‘2018 was a very good year for Mowi. Strong demand for salmon and high prices in all markets resulted in great earnings for the company.
‘I am proud of all my colleagues who work hard to produce healthy and tasty seafood for consumers all over the world. They have all contributed to the strong results.’
Salmon of Norwegian origin achieved an operational EBIT per kilo of €2.44 (€1.77 in Q4 2017), while salmon of Scottish and Canadian origin reported operational EBIT per kilo of €2.32 and €1.42 respectively (€1.19 and €0.98). Salmon of Chilean origin reported operational EBIT per kilo of €1.25 in the quarter (€1.03).
Mowi Feed reported an operational EBIT of €5.8 million against -€2.8 million in Q4 2017. Mowi Consumer Products reported an operational EBIT of €38.0 million (€29.1 million).
This year, the company has seawater expansion projects worth €50 million in Scotland, Norway and Canada, and Consumer Products automation and expansion plans worth €30 million in Europe and the US.
Aarskog added: ‘I wish to commend the organisation for the €61 million of savings achieved in the 2018 cost improvement programme. This will continue into 2019 with a new €30 million global cost and procurement improvement programme.’
Starting 2019 by changing the company name and launching a new brand strategy, the CEO said he believed this would be an exciting year for the company.
‘We look forward to introduce the MOWI brand in selected markets. I am confident that this will transform the company over time.’
Picture: Mowi CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog