Continued biological challenges in Scotland hit Bakkafrost

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The Bakkafrost Group delivered a total operating EBIT of DKK 418 million (EUR 56.2 million) in Q1 2022 and made a net profit of DKK 405 million (EUR 54.5 million).

Commenting on the result, CEO Regin Jacobsen said: “Overall, we are pleased with the results from the Faroese farming operation and our FOF segment. In this quarter, our farming operation in the Faroe Islands has continued on the trajectory to higher volumes. The biology has been good and sea lice levels low. The expansions of the Norðtoftir and Glyvradal hatcheries are also progressing as planned and will be completed later this year.”

“Despite disappointing results in our Scottish farming operation, we are pleased to see clear improvements during this quarter, following the challenging biology and high mortality we had in Q3 and Q4 2021. At the beginning of Q1 2022, the biology was still negatively affected at a few sites by the gill health issues in the two previous quarters. This caused elevated mortality at these sites. The issues reduced during Q1 2022 and in March we had no exceptional mortality, and the Scottish farming operation was profitable again,” he said.

“In this quarter, we also more than doubled our freshwater treatment capacity in Scotland with the introduction of our second large freshwater treatment vessel. We are confident, that this will significantly improve our ability to reduce the biological risk. This will be put to the test in the fall when the risk is highest. In Q4 2022, we also expect the Applecross 4 expansion to be finalised, which will enable us to be self-sufficient with high-quality smolt of significantly larger size than today. This will be the first major milestone in transforming the Scottish farming operation,” he added.

Just as other fish farmers, Bakkafrost feels the effect of inflation.

“The disruption in global supply chains has strengthened the need for local sourcing. In this respect, Bakkafrost is in a good position as around two-thirds of our sourcing is from local suppliers, and we have good access to locally caught marine raw material for our feed production.”

The salmon market has been exceptionally strong so far in 2022 with record high salmon prices.

“We do not expect prices to remain as high as they have been lately but expect prices to come down somewhat for the rest of 2022, however still on a strong level due to a tight supply outlook,” Jacobsen said.

Bakkafrost harvested 21,400 tonnes of salmon in Q1.

The company guides a total 2022 harvest of 103,000 tonnes of salmon.