Austevoll Seafood ASA published financial results 4Q 2009
Group income in Q4 2009 totalled NOK 3,201 million, an increase from NOK 1,552 million in the same period in 2008, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Austevoll Seafood ASA.
* The Group's operating result before depreciation and value adjustment of
biomass (EBITDA) for Q4 2009 was NOK 556 million compared with NOK 296 million in Q4 2008.
* EBITDA for the entire year amounted to NOK 1.9 billion.
* The fourth quarter has also seen very good prices for Atlantic salmon and salmon trout, in addition to the Group's pelagic products. Fishmeal prices have continued on an upwards trend throughout the quarter. Fish oil prices have been lower when compared with Q4 2008.
* The fourth quarter is, as normal, a good production quarter for fishmeal and fish oil in both Europe and South America, and for the Norwegian frozen pelagic segment. The production of high-concentrate Omega 3 products remains stable throughout the year and has been as expected for the fourth quarter also.
Financial information Q4 2009
The Austevoll Seafood Group reported operating income of NOK 3,201 million for the quarter (Q4 2008 NOK 1,552 million). EBITDA before value adjustment of biomass in Q4 2009 was NOK 556 million (Q4 2008 NOK 296 million). The Group also achieved stable high prices for its pelagic products for consumption, Atlantic salmon and trout. Sales prices achieved for fishmeal in Q4 2009 have been higher than the prices in Q4 2008. The fish oil prices in Q4 have been considerably lower when compared with prices in Q4 2008. The price trend for fishmeal and fish oil has shown an increase in the fourth quarter also. EBIT before value adjustment of biomass in Q4 2009 was NOK 423 million (Q4 2008 NOK 149 million). EBIT after value adjustment of biomass in Q4 2009 was NOK 488 million (Q4 2008 NOK 266 million). A write-down was carried out in Q4 of NOK 14 million, mainly related to fishing vessels which have been phased out in Peru.
Income from associated companies for Q4 totalled NOK 23 million (Q4 2008 NOK 46 million). The largest associated companies in 2009 are Br. Birkeland AS, Norskott Havbruk AS (owner of the fish farming company Scottish Sea Farms Ltd.) and Shetland Catch Ltd. The Group's net interest costs in Q4 2009 totalled NOK -59 million (Q4 2008 NOK -76 million). The reduction in net interest costs was generated by a decrease in liabilities throughout the year and a lower interest rate when compared with the same period last year. The Group's net other financial costs in Q4 2009 totalled NOK 2 million (Q4 2008 NOK -73 million).
The result after tax for the quarter totalled NOK 335 million (Q4 2008 NOK 103 million).
Fishmeal and fish oil
Operating income in Q4 2009 totalled NOK 444 million (NOK 522 million in Q4 2008) and EBITDA amounted to NOK 147 million (NOK 110 million in Q4 2008).
Sales of fishmeal and fish oil in Q4 totalled approx. 66,000 tons compared with 60,000 tons in Q4 2008. The prices for fishmeal have been on the increase throughout the quarter and the prices achieved in Q4 2009 are higher than those in Q4 2008. The prices for fish oil however have been considerably lower compared with Q4 2008, but these prices also saw an increase in the last quarter of 2009. The fourth quarter is, as normal, a good production quarter for fishmeal and fish oil, in both Europe and South America.
The second main season for anchoveta fishing in Peru opened on 6 November and lasted until the end of January 2010. Our fleet completed its quota by the end of December 2009. The total volume fished by the entire Peruvian fleet in the second main season 2009 was 2 million tons (North/Centre zone).
Operating income in Q4 2009 totalled NOK 204 million (NOK 186 million in Q4 2008) and EBITDA amounted to NOK 18 million (NOK 32 million in Q4 2008).
The total volume of consumer products sold is distributed as follows; approx. 5,000 tons of frozen products (Chile and Peru) compared with approx. 2,500 tons in Q4 2008. Approx. 461,000 boxes of canned products were sold, compared with approx. 542,000 boxes in Q4 2008 (Chile and Peru). During the period, the Group sold approx. 362 tons of high and low concentrate Omega-3 oils compared with approx. 446 tons in the same period 2008.
The lower volume of Omega-3 oil sales in Q4 2009 when compared with Q4 2008 is due to the phasing out of the intermediate product in Q2 2009. Sales of this product represented approx. 165 tons in Q4 2008 by comparison.
Prices realised for our products for consumers have remained at a stable high in the fourth quarter.
Approx. 8,000 tons of horse mackerel were fished in Chile in Q4 2009. This is 5,500 tons more than in the same quarter of 2008. The volumes of horse mackerel in 2009 and 2008 are approximately the same, but there was a lower ratio of mackerel catches in 2009 compared with 2008. It is particularly satisfying to report that the total share of the company's raw material basis used for consumer products has also seen an increase in 2009. This represents good exploitation of resources and is in line with the company's long-term efforts to increase value creation within the Group.
There was no fishing for consumer products in Peru in Q4 2009. The volumes fished in Q4 2008 were approx. 1,000 tons. The Group's manufacturer of high-concentrate Omega-3 products, Epax AS, gained certification by Friend of the Sea (FOS) in November for their sustainable marine fishing and production methods.
Production (Atlantic salmon and trout) This business segment comprises Lerøy Seafood Group's production of salmon and salmon trout, and processing of these products.
In Q4 2009, the segment reported operating income of NOK 1,157 million and EBITDA before value adjustment of biomass of NOK 285 million. The growth in operating result before adjustment of biomass in Q4 2009 totalled NOK 170 million compared with Q4 2008. The total weight volume of gutted salmon and salmon trout was 35,000 tons. The significant increase in result for the segment when compared with Q4 2008 is explained by an increase in volumes, a reduction of production costs and better prices achieved for Atlantic salmon and salmon trout. The prices achieved by the segment for salmon and salmon trout will naturally deviate from the spot market prices at times due to the Group's long-term industrial marketing strategy.
The negative difference between the prices achieved by the company and the spot prices for Atlantic salmon and salmon trout was at an historical high in the second and third quarters of 2009. As expected, this difference normalised in the fourth Austevoll Seafood ASA 5 Interim report Q4 2009 quarter. The company's share of contracts at the start of 2010 was somewhat lower than at the same time last year. The segment has achieved a reduction in production
costs to date this year, and we believe this trend will continue, on the basis of improved fish health among other things. The target is now to reduce the significant cost difference between the various regions in which the segment operates.
Sales and distribution LSG
This segment comprises Lerøy Seafood Group's global sales and distribution segment which covers the following companies: Hallvard Lerøy AS, Lerøy Sverige AS, Nordvik AS, Portnor Lda and Lerøy Sjømatgruppen.
In Q4, the segment reported operating income of NOK 2,165 million and EBITDA of NOK 84 million. The segment has enjoyed a very positive development and the growth in operating result from NOK 53 million in Q4 2008 to NOK 84 million in Q4 2009 totalled 56.5%. This positive development is generated by a number of factors, including good exploitation of capacity, a good market for the segment's products - Atlantic salmon and salmon trout - and improved return from the segment's strong position on the main global fish markets.
Pelagic Northern Atlantic
Operating income in Q4 2009 totalled NOK 417 million (NOK 475 million in Q4 2008) and EBITDA amounted to NOK 24 million (NOK 32 million in Q4 2008).
Pelagic Northern Atlantic comprises the sales company Atlantic Pelagic AS, which carries out all sales activities for the production companies Austevoll Fiskeindustri AS, Sir Fish AS, Modolv Sjøset AS and North Capelin Honningsvåg AS. This company is also responsible for the results of the production companies Austevoll Fiskeindustri AS, Sir Fish AS,Modolv Sjøset AS and North Capelin Honningsvåg AS.
The fourth quarter is, as normal, a good production quarter for Norwegian pelagic business and the main products this season have been NVG herring, horse mackerel and mackerel.
In October, the EU placed a stop on mackerel fishing for the Norwegian fleet in the EU zone. At that point in time, approx. 70,000 tons were remaining of the Norwegian fleet's mackerel quota. This resulted in an amended pattern for landing of fish for the pelagic industry.
However, a good horse mackerel season in the North Sea partly compensated for the reduction in landing of mackerel.
Market and outlook
Fishmeal and fish oil
Fishmeal prices have followed an upward trend in Q4 2009 and have remained stable to date in 2010. Fish oil prices have followed a slightly upward trend since the autumn of 2009 and to date in 2010. A regular demand for the products from the most important markets has been registered, and we expect this to continue.
The Board of Directors expects to see a stable high demand for the Group's consumer products in the future, along with good prices. With an increased consumer focus on health, the market for the group's high-concentrate Omega 3
products is expected to continue on a positive trend.
The development in demand for Atlantic salmon and salmon trout has been positive in 2009. The positive development in 2009 compared with expectations for a reduction in the global supply of Atlantic salmon in 2010, in addition to expectations of a limited growth in the years to come, provide grounds for continued optimism.
The above-mentioned factors, combined with expectations of improved productivity for the segment, including improvements to biology, allow for a positive attitude towards developments.
The Board of Directors is satisfied that the Group's business segments have generated a good operating result in 2009, and would like to thank all employees for their hard work throughout the year.