Nesse new Akva boss as CEO resigns

Knut Nesse has been appointed interim CEO of Akva Group, as from today

THE CEO of aquaculture equipment supplier Akva is to stand down, with effect from today, the Norwegian headquartered company announced.

Hallvard Muri, who took up the post in November 2016, has resigned. He will be replaced by an interim leader, Knut Nesse, current chair of the Akva board and until last year CEO of feed giant Nutreco.

Nesse will resign from the board of directors, who have elected Hans Kristian Mong as the new chair, also with effect from today.

Mong was previously chair of the Akva board, stepping down earlier this year after six years, to be succeeded by Nesse. He has since remained as a board member.

Outgoing CEO Hallvard Muri

Muri said: ‘After serving as CEO for three years, I believe it is time to pass on the leadership of Akva, and let others take on the challenge developing Akva further.

‘Akva is a great company with a strong position, and potential for the future. I would like to thank the board of directors, the management team and all the employees for the time I have had in the company, and I wish them all the best for the future.’

Mong said: ‘Akva has grown strongly and gone through a positive development the last three years, and on behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Mr Muri for his continued dedication and hard work in this period.’

Akva reported strong Q3 earnings, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) up 62 per cent to NOK 115 million (£9.7 million).

Overall revenues also jumped, by 21 per cent, to NOK 771 million (£65.5 million) compared to the same period last year.

The company’s order intake in the quarter was 723 million NOK (448 million NOK in the same period in 2018), representing a jump of 73 per cent.

The order backlog at the end of Q3 2019 was 1,524 million NOK (1,085 million NOK), some 569 million NOK of which relates to land based technology.

In the land based division, an agreement with Cooke Aquaculture was established in Q3 and a tender project with Russian Sea Aquaculture was awarded in Q2.

These are not yet recognised in the order intake but represent significant potential for growth, said Akva in its Q3 report.

Growth in the Americas region continued, too, with revenue of 142 million NOK compared to 123 million NOK in the same quarter in 2018.

A contract for delivery of four barges to a customer in Chile was signed in September contributing to an increased order intake in the Americas from 78 million NOK to 284 million NOK within the region in Q3.