Grieg Seafood boss pleased with results despite difficult Q3

Andreas Witzøe

EBIT / kg was EUR 0.9 in the third quarter, compared with EUR 1.4 for the same quarter in 2017.

“I am pleased with developments in Finmark and Rogaland. Also to some extent in British Colombia. But in the Shetland Isles we are still struggling,” said Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood.

Rogaland, south Norway, has been a problem area for Grieg Seafood, but now the last of the region’s PD (pancreas disease) infected fish has been taken out according to company.

“Last year, six out of twelve sites were affected by pancreas disease. Now the situation is much better and only two sites affected,” Kvame said.

Rogaland’s costs will go down considerably in the last quarter of the year.

“The low harvest volume in the quarter was planned and affected EBIT / kg. Now we are looking forward to better times with lower costs and stable production. We have learned from the problems we have had with PD,” said Kvame.

In the extreme north point in Norway, Finnmark, the fish have good survival and good lining. In October, much of the 4.5 million smolt to be released in the fourth quarter of Finnmark have been done so.

5.2 million in write-offs
Grieg Seafood had a write-down of EUR 5.2 million in the quarter due to problems in Shetland and British Colombia. They have an equity of approximately EUR 419.4 million and a liquidity of almost EUR 125.8 million.

Andreas Kvame said that issues in the Shetland Isles have been problematic.

“There is still a problem for us. We work hard to try and solve the problems we have with poor gill-related disease there,” he said.

Kvame is confident of British Colombia’s 2019 target of 20,000 tons of fish despite the algae problems they have had in the area. But he realizes that there should be more fish in the sea in order to reach the targets for next year. “I am comfortable with the goal we have set,” he said.

Aim of 100,000 in total in 2020
In 2019, Grieg Seafood plans to put out between 26 and 28 million smolt. According to Kvame, this should be more than enough to reach the target of 100,000 tons of fish by 2020.

“It’s going to be more than enough,” he said.

Even though the problems in Shetland do not improve, there will be options. “We have the capacity to put more smolt elsewhere if necessary,” continued Kvame.

Kvame doesn’t hide the fact that not enough sites have been a problem to reach the goals. But after the allocation of two new sites in Finnmark, Kvame believes that enough sites are no longer a bottleneck for Grieg Seafood.

“There is nothing to hide from the fact that we have struggled with too few sites. This has improved now and we have enough, but I would love to see that we had even more. However, it’s not easy to get,” he concluded.


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