Lower harvest dampens Lerøy result

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Lerøy harvested 32,000 tonnes of salmon and trout in the first quarter of the year – a decrease of 6,000 tonnes from the same quarter last year, hitting earnings hard.

Operating profit before fair value adjustments related to biological assets was EUR 70 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared with EUR 98 million in the first quarter of 2018.

“The harvest volume for salmon and trout was low in Q1 2019, having a negative impact on release from stock costs. The Group can, however, report successful production at sea. There has been good demand and lower quotas for whitefish, resulting in high prices, which have challenged onshore operations. In total, the first quarter has been moderately positive, but we could do better,” wrote CEO Henning Beltestad.

Like so often, it was Lerøy Aurora who was responsible for the best operation. The company, based at Skjervøy in Troms, Northern Norway, recorded an EBIT of NOK 24.7 (EUR 2.5) per kilo. In comparison, other Norwegian sites, Lerøy Midnor and Lerøy Sjøtroll, achieved NOK 18.9 (EUR 1.9) and NOK 10.1 (EUR 1) per kilogram, respectively. The latter struggled with weak price achievement in the quarter, mainly related to downgrades on trout.

At the same time as Lerøy harvested four per cent less salmon and trout in the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year, the growth in the plants has been good. The standing biomass at the end of the quarter was six per cent higher than at the same time in 2019.

At the time of writing, contracts have been signed for 2019 for around 30% of the estimated harvest volume of salmon

In total, Lerøy expects to harvest 190,000 tonnes of salmon and trout this year.

“As of today, the Group expects to see earnings in Q2 2019 in line with, or somewhat higher than achieved in Q1 2019. The Board of Directors remains confident of satisfactory earnings in the present year,” the report wrote.