Huon Aquaculture completes €40 million equity raise to reduce net debt and strengthen balance sheet

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Tough year as Australian salmon farmer focuses on growing the market and locking in contracted sales.

The Tasmanian salmon farmer Huon Aquaculture posted a 21 per-cent rise in revenue for its full-year results ending 30th June, from EUR 174 million to EUR 210 million.

EBITDA was up 11 per-cent, rising to EUR 30 million from EUR 26 million.

Due to a challenging year, net debt increased by 21 per-cent.

Om the 28th of August, Huon deleveraged debt by new equity when it issued 21.3 million new shares priced at AUD 3 to raise EUR 40 million.

Huon Aquaculture’s financial performance in FY2020 was affected by the significant disruption of two of its main channels to market, wholesale and export, as a number of measures were implemented by the state and federal governments in March 2020 to contain the spread of the COVID-19.

“Huon began FY2020 with continued poor fish growth in the 18 Year Class and harvest weights being slow to recover from the effects of gill necrosis which had developed as a consequence of the jellyfish bloom at the end of 2018. This resulted in low sales volumes in the first quarter as the business predominantly had small fish to sell, reducing its competitiveness in the wholesale market. It also meant export sales were difficult, particularly in the China market where there is a preference for larger fish,” it wrote.

The salmon farmer added that Huon’s focus in FY2021, as it builds towards another step-change in harvest volume, will be growing the market and locking in contracted sales. The requirement to slow the harvest of the 19 Year Class salmon during the fourth quarter of FY2020, will likely result in the harvest volume for FY2021 increasing by around 40 per cent to at least 36,000 tonnes.

“For example, the disruption to the international and domestic markets had a material impact on the second half results. The increased fish size and volumes available for harvest in Q4, with the commencement of the 19 Year Class harvest, should have delivered high returns,” added Huon.