Aker Seafoods: Improved operations in Harvesting and positive outlook

May 3, 2011 12:56

Aker Seafoods achieved an operating profit of 59 million kroner in the first quarter 2011, compared with 72 million kroner from the same quarter in 2010. The efficiency in Harvesting has improved and prices are higher for the fishing activities. Norway Seafoods had lower capacity utilisation and lower margins than in the first quarter of 2010. EBIT-margin for the group was 7.5 per cent in first quarter 2011, compared to 9.0 per cent in 2010, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Aker Seafoods.

Sales for Aker Seafoods came to 786 million kroner in the first quarter 2011, compared to 780 million kroner in the same period 2010. Sales of whole fish increased due to higher prices on cod, haddock and saithe. This compensates the reduction in sales in processed products.

- We had progress in our harvesting operations in the first quarter. We have harvested more effectively in this quarter than ever before, and prices have increased compared to the same period last year. Norway Seafoods did not deliver satisfactory results. This is due to an increase in raw material prices and lesser access to raw materials caused by bad weather in March, says Thomas Farstad, Chief Executive Officer in Aker Seafoods ASA.

Profit before financial items (EBIT) for the quarter came to 59 million kroner (72 million kroner). Earnings per share in the quarter were 0.36 kroner (0.42 kroner). Cash flow from operations in first quarter was -12 million kroner (-32 million kroner). Net financial items were -15 million kroner (-19 million kroner). Net interest-bearing debt increased to 1 025 million kroner
(995 million kroner by the end of 2010).

The equity ratio was 39.0 per cent by the end of the quarter, compared to 38.3 per cent at the end of fourth quarter 2010.

Aker Seafoods Harvesting achieved an operating profit (EBIT) in the first quarter 2011 of 57 million kroner (58 million kroner), and total catches were 14 647 tons, 12 per cent less than the same period last year. The remaining quota base for cod and haddock is 5 500 tons higher that for the same period in 2010.

The marketing and processing company Norway Seafoods, which includes the Norway, Denmark and France segments, reported an EBIT of 1 million kroner (13 million kroner) for the first quarter. EBIT was -4 million kroner (6 million kroner) for the Norwegian processing business, 2 million kroner (4 million kroner) for the Danish business and 3 million kroner (4 million kroner) for the French business in first quarter 2011.

Aker Seafoods expects good catches for its own fleet for the rest of 2011, with a remaining quota base of 75 per cent compared to 68 per cent at the same time last year. The margins for Norway Seafoods are expected to be influenced by higher prices on raw materials, and a partly demanding situation for supplies of raw material. The company will increase its efforts within operating sales and work to strengthen its position within the whitefish market.

- The prospects for fishing are positive and we expect to continue good operations. New capacity will give our fleet additional flexibility and efficiency. Increased sales and marketing efforts are necessary to improve the profitability in the processing segment, says Thomas Farstad.

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