Lerøy’s salmon comes to Austevoll Seafood’s rescue yet again

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Without the acquisition of the majority shareholding in Lerøy Seafood Group, Austevoll Seafood’s core business would have been narrower.

The fisheries conglomerate Austevoll Seafood, a majority owner of Norwegian seafood company Lerøy, posted its latest Q1 results on the Oslo Stock Exchange in a financial bulletin.

Revenue in totalled EUR 531 million, compared with EUR 505.3 million in Q1 2019. EBIT was slightly down to EUR 75.7 million from EUR 76 million.

“The increase in revenue and earnings is explained by a higher harvest volume for Atlantic salmon and trout and higher catch volumes for whitefish when compared with the same period in 2019,” the company wrote.

“The disappointing fishing season in Peru in Q4 2019, including a significant decline in sales volume for fishmeal and oil, resulted in a reduction in revenue and earnings for this segment in the quarter, when compared with the same quarter of 2019,” Austevoll explained.

Together with Lerøy subsidiary Norskott Aquaculture (which owns 50 per cent of Scottish Seafarms) and Pelagia Holding (Pelagia) are key associated companies in the group. Pelagia processes and exports pelagic fish, such as herring and mackerel.

“Unrealised foreign exchange losses linked to the extraordinary depreciation of the Norwegian krone in the quarter had a significantly negative impact on Pelagia’s earnings. Accounting policies specify that unrealised losses on forward contracts must be recognised consecutively. The accounting impact, however, is expected to be reversed as the goods are shipped to the customers. Pelagia’s underlying operations are satisfactory,” the Norwegian company explained.

“The various restrictions implemented both in Norway and internationally in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak have affected the market for salmon and trout. At the end of Q1 2020, the spot price for salmon, measured according to the NSI (sales price FCA Oslo), was substantially lower than at the start of the year,” concluded Austevoll.

Profit before tax and fair value adjustment related to biological assets amounted to EUR 60 million, compared to EUR 85.2 million in Q1 2019.