Grieg Seafoods Reports Improved Third Quarter Finances

Grieg Seafood ASA Group is recovering from the financial impact of COVID-19, according to the company’s third quarter report released this week.

Andreas Krame, CEO of Grieg Seafoods ASA, said in a note to shareholders on November 3 that the company had one of its best third quarters in history, thanks to strong sales from the British Columbia operations and the addition of value-added processing in Norway.

“British Columbia was another highlight this quarter, with stable production and high average harvest weights,” said Krame.

The main customer for the company’s BC-produced salmon is the US market, which was strong and offered high prices in the third quarter, Krame said.

A marked difference

The third quarter report notes that salmon sales increased by more than 40% from the third quarter of 2020, to $ 1.3 billion (NOK), or about C $ 189 million, for the quarter.

The company produced just over 20,000 metric tonnes of salmon for the quarter, including 4,289 tonnes from British Columbia, 6,282 from Rogaland and 9,908 from the company’s sites in Finnmark.

This is a marked difference from the same period in 2020, when it was challenged by a pandemic-induced price drop and dead fish at its Shetland facility.

Salmon deaths in Shetland Islands cost the company C $ 21 million in 2020, and it has decided to put the operation up for sale.

In another move to control costs that year, Grieg also decided to suspend construction of the post-smolt unit – the last tank to complete the land-based hatchery system in Marystown.

The company did not provide any update on the date of resumption of construction of the post-smolt unit.

Shetland Sale

The company has found a buyer for the Shetlands. The sale agreement between Scottish Sea Farms and Grieg is currently being assessed by competition regulators in the UK

Grieg said he hopes to complete the sale in the third quarter, saying the sale of the Shetland operations will allow them to focus their resources and investments on locations with the greatest potential for profitable growth, particularly in Canada and Norway. .

Newfoundland

The Grieg NL hatchery site in Marystown, NL, in January 2021. – Contribution

Regarding the operation in Newfoundland, Grieg said, “We are committed to developing the project according to the stages outlined in the permits granted by the authorities. “

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador this year provided a $ 5 million loan to Grieg NL.

This was the first allocation of a $ 30 million loan commitment from the province to Grieg under the Aquaculture Capital Investment Program (ACEP). This program helps increase production from commercial aquaculture operations in the province.

The Newfoundland site will provide Grieg with another point of access to the US market.

The company noted that only a third of demand in the U.S. market is supplied by North American aquaculture sites, and the company aims to focus on this market by 2025.

“With the proximity to important markets on the east coast of the United States, our Newfoundland region significantly strengthens our exposure to the US market and opens up synergies with existing operations,” said the company.

The company said its top priority for the Grieg NL site is to ensure biosecurity, fish health and profitability.

Salmon slaughter

Parr of Atlantic salmon at a hatchery in Maine.  US Fish and Wildlife Service photo.  - Contributed
Parr of Atlantic salmon at a hatchery in Maine. US Fish and Wildlife Service photo. – Contributed

In August, the company had to slaughter a million salmon parr after discovering evidence of salmon anemia in a pond at the Marystown hatchery.

The fish was meant to be transferred to sea cages this summer, but the company canceled that plan.

The company said this week that the fish are growing well in the Marystown reservoirs and that the smolts will be released into sea cages in the spring and summer of 2022, with a harvest in 2023 and 2024.

“The current generation of eggs, received in April and July, are developing well with high survival rates,” the company said. “The first batch of this generation was successfully transferred to the smolt facility in October. We plan to move three million fish to the sea in 2022, with the harvest starting in 2023. ”

A group of Marystown employees will be spending time in British Columbia or Norway over the next few weeks to complete training on how to operate sea cages.

Grieg only added sterile female salmon that will be transferred to the sea cages. This is a requirement of the licenses it holds to operate the eight marine sites in Placentia Bay.

During the third quarter, the company said it was also able to test the resilience of its sea cages when Hurricane Larry blew in September.

“The marine cage site and equipment were not damaged (and) the RAS facility also withstood Category 1 hurricane winds without any damage,” the company said. outages caused by the hurricane.

In its long-term plan, Grieg foresees an annual harvest potential of 45,000 tonnes at the Placentia Bay sites.

“We are confident that we will be able to build a strong agricultural region in Newfoundland over the next few years, creating jobs and value for local communities,” the company said.


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Tanya S. Norvell