One leads with a 68% operating margin. Here are the most profitable salmon farmers in Norway

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SalmonBusiness has dissected the annual accounts of 69 salmon and trout farmers. And there are major differences between the strongest and the weakest.

Covid-19 has probably played a role here as well. Virus problems and contagion have presented challenges for financial professionals, accountants and auditors. Too many fish farmers are late to report results this year, so the overview is not complete. But it still gives a pretty clear picture of how earnings evolved in the industry in 2019.

An unweighted average margin of 26.2 per-cent is, in any case, a steady testimonial of an industry that is doing very well.

Lucrative
Driven by still historically high salmon prices, 2019 was another good year, although ever-increasing production costs have also eaten into margins. Measured by the operating margin, both 2016, 2017 and 2018 were more profitable years than 2019.

The best of all who have reported so far is Hellesund Fiskeoppdrett, based near Kristiansand, Southern Norway, achieved an operating margin of 68 per cent and an operating profit of EUR 4.2 million. The company is owned by CEO Karl Olaf Jørgensen and his family together with Norway Royal Salmon (33 per-cent).

Closely followed is small-scale Finnøy Fisk. The company, operated by Ketil Nåden at Finnøy, Western Norway, posted an operating margin of 68 per-cent last year with an operating profit of EUR 4 million. The company’s largest owner is Mowi, with 45 per-cent of the shares, ahead of Nåden Invest, with 25 per-cent.

Slim
Kobbvåglaks followed in Herøy, Northern Norway, with an operating margin of 60 per-cent and an operating profit of EUR 8.6 million, ahead of Korshavn Havbruk in Southern Norway, with a 59.9 per-cent operating margin and EUR 3 million in operating profit.

Only two companies in this article reported a deficit for 2019. Both come from Western Norway. Telavåg Fiskeoppdrett posted a -7.9 per-cent operating margin while Bolaks’ was -1.4 per-cent.

See the full overview here: