Rising prices boost trawler firm’s fortunes

SOLID prices for cod, haddock and other white fish have helped push up first quarter revenue and profits for Havfisk, one of Norway’s leading fishing companies.
Figures for the three months to the end of March 2016 rose from 247 million Norwegian kroners (NOK) during the same period last year to NOK 270 million.
The company, which has a fleet of ten trawlers and sizeable cod quota, saw its profits before depreciation and amortisation rise from NOK 90 million to NOK 95 million.
The profit before tax was NOK 54 million for the quarter, compared with NOK 45 million for the first quarter of 2015.
Havfisk said the figures reflected both increased prices for its catches and increased volume during the period.
‘There have been good catch rates for cod and haddock at the start of the year,’ the statement added.
‘Harvest volume per operating day increased by 21 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2015, while the harvest value per operating day increased by 23 per cent in the same period.
‘There have been higher prices, a changed product mix and increased operating costs compared with the same quarter in 2015.
‘Increased operating costs are mainly related to maintenance. There have been planned shipyard visits for five vessels in the first quarter, which led to a 10 percent reduction in operating days.’
But observers agree they also reflect the generally buoyant state of the Norwegian fishing industry.
Chief executive Webjørn Barstad said this morning: ‘Operations have been good during the quarter, with good harvest volumes and harvest value per operating day.
‘We have had a great deal of maintenance however, which means fewer available vessel fishing days and higher maintenance costs than usual for the quarter.
‘Good cash flow has enabled us to both invest in the fleet and pay a dividend to our shareholders.’