Cermaq presented a strong fourth quarter 2009 result with an EBIT pre fair value of NOK 218.1 million

February 22, 2010 18:30
EBIT pre fair value of NOK 218.1 million in the quarter concludes a year with strong improvement in Cermaq's operational results. Both the feed and the farming division are delivering robust results based on strong and sound operations. Net interest bearing debt was reduced by NOK 447.8 million in the quarter to NOK 1 809.8 million. The board proposes a dividend of NOK 1.50 per share, reports http://www.megafishnet.com/ with reference to Cermaq's release dated 19.02.10.

Cermaq presented a strong fourth quarter result with an EBIT pre fair value of NOK 218.1 million, compared to a loss of NOK 59.7 million in the same quarter prior year. Improved operations and continued strong market prices for salmon are the main drivers.

- We are now seeing positive results of the measures we have focused on, and Cermaq is well positioned to improve further in 2010, says Geir Isaksen, CEO of Cermaq

Mainstream delivered a solid EBIT pre fair value, and especially the Norwegian and Chilean results were very positive. Though volumes of atlantic salmon in Chile are low and will be further reduced this year, the biological performance has been good. The increased measures taken over the last period to improve the health situation in both fresh and salt water together with other operational actions have so far proven effective on the new generations of smolts. Norwegian farming has experienced significant growth in the quarter; The Nordland region continued its strong performance and Finnmark has improved significantly from previous quarters. Increased production cost on specific batches of fish influenced the results negatively in Canada in the quarter whereas Scotland produced improved results. Strong salmon prices and stable demand has contributed to good margins.

- Farming operations in Chile is recovering according to plan, and Cermaq will continue investing there and further in Norway to strengthen the geographical balance in our supplies, says Geir Isaksen

EWOS improved its result in the quarter despite slightly lower volumes globally compared to last year. While volumes in Chile were significantly reduced, all other regions experienced increased volumes and especially EWOS Norway enjoyed considerable growth. EWOS has developed an excellent portfolio which has been positively received in the market. The improved profitability also reflects tight cost control and improved market position.

- EWOS continues to strengthen its highly regarded portfolio of well performing and differentiated products and we see this as an important success factor for the increased market momentum, says Geir Isaksen

Cermaq generated a strong cash flow in the quarter both from higher operating result as well as from reduced working capital, mainly due to reduced inventory and receivables. Net interest bearing debt was reduced by NOK 447.8 million in the quarter to NOK 1 809.8 million at the end of 2009.

- Cermaq has high financial flexibility which allows for profitable growth, concludes Geir Isaksen.

Further information - please contact:

Geir Isaksen, CEO, phone: + 47 23 68 50 10, mobile: +47 91 34 82 81

Tore Valderhaug, CFO, phone: + 47 23 68 50 38, mobile: + 47 99 56 09 25

Cermaq is an international group of companies with activities in fish farming, production of salmonid feed and research in aquaculture. Cermaq has operations in Norway, Chile, Canada and Scotland, the main geographic regions for salmon and trout farming.

Through its EWOS subsidiary, Cermaq ranks as the world's second largest producer of feed for salmonids. The Mainstream subsidiary is one of the world's leading farming companies of salmon and trout. The group had sales of around 9 billion in 2009, and employs approximately 3 300 people. Cermaq is listed on the Oslo stock exchange with ticker code CEQ

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