Good results in the fourth quarter - proposes dividend of NOK 0.35 per share for 2009

February 10, 2010 09:15

(Oslo, 10th February 2010) Marine Harvest ASA achieved an operational EBIT of 569 million in the fourth quarter 2009, compared to NOK 317 million in the corresponding quarter in 2008, reports with reference to Marine Harvest.

Earnings per share improved from NOK -0.18 to NOK 0.15.  A tight market balance resulted in good prices. Based on a strong cash flow, a strengthened balance sheet and improved earnings in 2009 the Board of Directors has resolved to propose for the AGM a dividend of NOK 0.35 per share of which 0.25 will be distributed after the AGM in May and NOK 0.05 in each of the third and fourth quarters.
Marine Harvest reported operating revenues of NOK 3 767 million (NOK 4 042 million) in the fourth quarter 2009, with operational EBIT of NOK 569 million (NOK 317 million). The decrease in operating revenues is mainly due to reduced harvest volumes in Marine Harvest Chile and currency effects. Net earnings in the period were NOK 520.1 million (NOK -621.1 million).
- We are satisfied with the results for the fourth quarter 2009. Significant improvements in specifically Marine Harvest Scotland, Marine Harvest Chile and Marine Harvest VAP Europe contributed to improved profitability. Marine Harvest Norway increased volumes, revenues and earnings in the fourth quarter and contributed with two thirds of the group's operational EBIT in the quarter, comments CEO of Marine Harvest ASA, Åse Aulie Michelet.
Despite a significant seasonal build up of working capital, cash flow from operations amounted to NOK 151 million (NOK 36 million) in the fourth quarter 2009. Net financial items amounted to net NOK 2 million (NOK -1 176 million). Net financial items include net interest expenses of NOK 73 million (NOK 146 million). Net positive currency effects amounted to NOK 75 million (- NOK 743 million), mainly due to the appreciation of NOK versus other currencies. Net interest bearing debt was stable at NOK 5 075 million (5 093 in Q3). The equity ratio increased to 56.2 percent at the end of the quarter. 
Marine Harvest Norway achieved an operational EBIT per kg of NOK 4.25 (5.89) in the fourth quarter, while Marine Harvest Canada and Marine Harvest Scotland reported operational EBIT per kg of NOK 4.36 and NOK 5.10 respectively (4.23 and 4.18). Marine Harvest VAP Europe reported an operational EBIT-margin of 10.8% (5.9%) in the fourth quarter of 2009. The development of Marine Harvest's Chilean operations was better than expected, resulting in an operational EBIT of NOK 91 million (NOK - 168 million). 
Marine Harvest expects to harvest a volume of 292 000 tons in 2010, of which 66 000 tons is expected to be harvested in the first quarter.
- The good results in this quarter confirm the turnaround of Marine Harvest in 2009. We have embarked on 2010 from a significantly strengthened financial position with stronger performance in most business units. I expect continued solid demand for seafood. Together with limited supply this indicates a strong market for salmon also in 2010. There is a good potential for reduced biological risk in the industry and also room for further improvements in Marine Harvest operations. I'm looking forward to another year with visible improvements, says Åse Aulie Michelet.
For further information, please contact: 
Jørgen Andersen, CFO, Tel: +47 21 56 20 09, Mobile: +47 951 43 854 
Henrik Heiberg, Finance Director, Tel: +47 21 56 20 11, Mobile: +47 917 47 724
About Marine Harvest
Marine Harvest is the world's leading seafood company and largest producer of farmed salmon, with presence in 18 countries and about 5 000 employees worldwide. The company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Please see for further information.

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