Morpol ASA reports strong sales growth
Morpol's consolidated operating revenue in Q4 2012 amounted to EUR 163.1 million, which was higher by EUR 12.8 million in comparison to operating revenue generated in the same period last year. Operating EBIT for the quarter amounted to EUR 6.2 million (3.8 percent margin), which was EUR 7.3 million lower versus the same period last year, according to Morpol.
The group's net interest bearing debt (NIBD) was EUR 187.2 million at the end of Q4 2012 (EUR 14.5 million increase compared to year end). The equity ratio was 39.7 percent at quarter end compared to 38.8 percent at the quarter end prior year.
Operating revenue in processing segment in Q4 2012 was EUR 144.4 million compared to EUR 129.1 million prior year. Higher operating revenue from sale of finished goods results from a significant increase in volumes. Volumes excluding contract processing were higher in comparison to Q4 2011 by 21.3 percent. There was a strong, double digit sales volume growth in almost all product categories.
Operating EBIT for processing in Q4 2012 was EUR 3.3 million vs. EUR 19.2 million in the previous year.
The operating EBIT margin in Q3 2012 decreased to 2.3 percent compared to 14.8 percent prior year.
The deteriorated profitability was primarily caused by an increase of salmon raw material price, higher marketing expenses resulting from sales volume increase, write-down of cobia and pompano inventories in the amount of
EUR 3.6 million and the additional write-down of trade receivables in the amount of EUR 0.9 million.
Operating revenue in salmon farming in Q4 2012 was EUR 41.2 million and was higher by EUR 4.5 million in comparison to Q4 2011, despite lower volumes sold. Decrease of volumes sold by 7.0 percent was outweighted by a sales price increase. Market prices for salmon increased in Q4 2012 with an average NOS price from Norway at approximately NOK 26/kg (15.4 percent increase in comparison to Q4 2011), up by approximately NOK 1/kg from Q3 2012. The prices peaked above NOK 30/kg in the high volume weeks immediately before Christmas.
Salmon farming operating EBIT for the quarter amounted to EUR 5.1 million and was EUR 8.0 higher than in the same period last year (result in Q4 2011 included a write-down of biomass in UK in the amount of EUR 4.9 million).
Operating EBIT margin amounted to 12.4 percent in Q4 2012 (Q4 2011: 7.8 percent negative).
The farming operation in the UK - Meridian Salmon Group - generated an operating EBIT of EUR 3.1 million. Sales volume in the quarter was 5,201 metric tonnes gutted fish equivalent returning an EBIT/kg of EUR 0.6/kg.
The Norwegian farming operation - Jøkelfjord Laks - generated an operating EBIT of EUR 2.0 million, returning an EBIT/kg of EUR 0.7.
Comment from the CEO
"Morpol is very well placed for future profitable growth", CEO Jerzy Malek says. "Although the market will be challenging during 2013, the eventual integration with Marine Harvest will bring additional knowledge and competence to the group and should result in further efficiency improvements in Morpol."