COVID 19 has so far failed to take a toll on the first quarter financial performance of Norway Royal Salmon (NRS), one of the world’s major fish farmers.
The company today reported that its EBIT or operating profit had more than halved to 75 million kroner (£5.9 million), thought to be due to higher costs.. The EBIT for Q1 last year was NOK 162 million (£12.7m) . The EBIT per kilogramme was NOK 16.53 compared with NOK 25.51 in 2019.
CEO Charles Høstlund said the pandemic has put everyone to the test. He continued:
‘Our world is facing some formidable challenges and the need for healthy, environmentally friendly seafood will be important in the future.
‘We are very pleased that none of our employees have been diagnosed with the virus and that Covid-19 has not affected production so far. As a result of winter wounds, harvest from a zone with restrictions and the timing of harvest, the quarter was influenced by reduced price achievement and increased production costs.’
He reported that the Group’s Iceland based growth initiative Arctic Fish achieved an operating EBIT of NOK 16 million and an operating EBIT per kg of NOK 18.47. Høstlund described the performance of its Iceland operation as being ‘very satisfactory. The company, he said, was in a strong financial position with NOK 1,840 million (£144m) ( in unutilised credit facilities and NOK 58 million (£4.5m) in bank deposits at the end of the quarter.
NRS, whose Norwegian farms are largely based in Troms and Finnmark, harvested 5,409 tonnes, gutted weight down 23 per cent on 12 months ago. But its estimated harvest volumes for the whole of 2020 37,000 tonnes, an increase of 36 per cent on 2019. The company has produced extra capacity through Norway’s traffic light system and the group now has 38 per cent higher biomass.