SSF prof­its drop but Orkney per­forms well

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SALMON farm­ing giant SalMar has re­ported re­duced rev­enues and prof­its from its Scot­tish Sea Farms op­er­a­tions in the first quar­ter of 2019, the group’s lat­est fig­ures show.

Q1 rev­enues fell from NOK 519 mil­lion (£46.6 mil­lion) in 2018 to NOK 405 mil­lion (£36.3 mil­lion) this year, while pre-tax prof­its dropped from NOK 178 mil­lion (£16 mil­lion) to NOK 58 mil­lion (£5.2 mil­lion).

SalMar blamed the de­crease in rev­enues to lower har­vest vol­umes, which fell by 1,700 tonnes to 4,800 tonnes.

It said the bulk of the volume har­vested came from Orkney, which en­joyed good op­er­a­tional per­for­mance and av­er­age weights.The re­main­ing volume har­vested came from main­land Scot­land.

The UK busi­ness, which SalMar shares with Lerøy Seafood, has been hit by var­i­ous bi­o­log­i­cal prob­lems, par­tic­u­larly in Shetland, and the re­sults were not un­ex­pected.

How­ever, SalMar said in its an­nual re­port a few weeks ago that Scot­tish Sea Farms, also known as Norskott Havbruk, was start­ing to turn the corner thanks to high har­vest weights, good prices and im­prove­ments in cost re­duc­tions.

The busi­ness is sched­uled to har­vest 30,000 tonnes this year.

‘The fi­nan­cial re­sult has been neg­a­tively af­fected by costs re­lat­ing to high mor­tal­ity at cer­tain sites,’ said SalMar.

‘Fifty per cent of the quar­ter’s volume was sold un­der con­tract. Op­er­a­tional EBIT per kg gut­ted weight came to NOK 22.78 in the first quar­ter 2019, com­pared with NOK 26.67 per kg in the same pe­riod in 2018.’

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