Grieg Seafood ASA: results for the third quarter of 2022

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Strong points

  • Harvest volume of 22,923 (20,479) tonnes
  • Operating EBIT of NOK 145 million (NOK 149 million), with an operating EBIT/kg of NOK 6.3 (7.3)
  • Salmon prices remained seasonally high despite significant supply growth, strong demand in HoReCa and Retail
  • High market share and timing of harvest impacted price realization
  • Biological challenges in British Columbia combined with underlying inflation have driven farm costs higher
  • Difficult growing conditions in Norway from the middle of the quarter
  • Newfoundland seawater production according to plan
  • Group rearing cost NOK 59.4 per kg (NOK 48.7 per kg) due to biological challenges in British Columbia. Agricultural cost of NOK 49.8 per kg (NOK 45.9 per kg) for our Norwegian operations mainly due to inflationary pressure
  • Initiated structural changes to BC operations as part of site structure optimization strategy
  • Total of 33 ASC certified sites, equivalent to 78% of net production
  • Forecast a harvest of 17,500 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2022, 81,000 tonnes for the whole of 2022 and 87,000 tonnes for 2023
  • The Norwegian government has proposed to introduce a 40% resource tax on farmed salmon from 1 January 2023, which will impact investment and industry development in Norway if it were to be implemented. implemented in its current form. The proposal is subject to a public hearing and adoption by Parliament

Financial results

Grieg Seafood’s operating EBIT amounted to NOK 145 million in the third quarter, stable compared to NOK 149 million for the corresponding period last year. Harvest volume was 22,923 tonnes during the period (20,479), giving an operational EBIT per kg of NOK 6.3 (7.3).

The results in Rogaland and Finnmark were positively influenced by a high share of top quality fish, partially compensated by contracts, harvest timing as well as a lower average harvest weight in Finnmark. The cost level in Norway ended at NOK 49.8/kg, in line with forecast and up from NOK 42.7/kg in the second quarter of 2022, mainly due to inflation. Production in the quarter was hampered by unfavorable organic conditions in both regions, which will impact full year 2022 harvest volumes. Production has gradually improved so far in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The Spiro parasite has been detected on some farms in Finnmark, where fish have recently been released into the sea. The parasite has a limited impact on fish welfare and the biological performance of most fish, however, fish with signs of disease will be slaughtered. The source of the parasite is believed to be the consumption of water in a freshwater facility for a limited period of time, and corrective action has been taken. The incident is expected to have a limited impact on future harvest volume as steps are taken to compensate for the shortfall by transferring more smolts to sea and optimizing sites.

Results in British Columbia were negative in the quarter, with higher costs driven by reduced survival. The lower survival in seawater is mainly due to algal blooms at selected sites where our barrier system has not yet been implemented. Production at the remaining sites was good. As part of the biocontrol enhancement strategy, the company is installing algae mitigation barrier systems at exposed sites in the region.

As part of the company’s optimization strategy, Grieg Seafood has taken steps to improve the site structure in British Columbia, phasing out old sites with difficult biology and high costs. The management team is strengthened with a new COO for North America and a new General Manager for British Columbia.

In Newfoundland, fish released at sea are doing well and according to plan. So far, 2 million smolts have been released, currently with an average weight of 1 kg. The first harvest is scheduled for the end of 2023.

Commenting on the quarter, Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood ASA, said:

Although the market and demand for salmon was strong for the season, the third quarter was somewhat difficult. Our agricultural operations were affected by unfavorable growing conditions and sea lice pressure in Rogaland and Finnmark, as well as algal blooms in British Columbia. After the implementation of mitigation efforts, production has gradually improved and is expected to stabilize across all regions in the fourth quarter. Seawater production in Newfoundland is developing as expected. Looking ahead, Grieg Seafood expects a continued strong salmon market where we will continue to optimize production with a focus on fish health and welfare.

Political risk in Norway has increased significantly following the Norwegian government’s proposal to introduce a resource tax with an effective tax rate of 40% on farmed salmon. Grieg Seafood has already identified great investment opportunities in our coastal communities in Norway aimed at advancing sustainable growth, but the proposal in its current form will significantly reduce the available capital needed for these investments. Consequently, all new investments impacted by the tax are suspended. The proposal and the uncertainty caused by the political process in which it was launched show how geographic diversification has become even more important in reducing risk in the industry. Grieg Seafood works with industry to ensure that Norway remains competitive within the global salmon farming industry, with a stable and attractive investment climate. The proposal is subject to a public hearing and adoption by Parliament. Once this has happened, Grieg Seafood will assess how the end result will impact our strategy and plans and adjust accordingly.

Outlook

The 2022 global Atlantic salmon harvest is expected to be in line with 2021. With no growth in global supply for the remainder of 2022 and limited growth in 2023, Grieg Seafood expects the salmon market remains strong in the future.

The proposed 40% resource tax on farmed salmon is subject to a public hearing and passage by the Norwegian Parliament, which is expected to take place before summer 2023. The proposed tax in its current form n is not neutral on investments and Grieg Seafood has put investments totaling NOK 2.3 billion on hold until a final proposal is adopted. Once the final proposal is adopted, Grieg Seafood will assess the impact on the company’s strategy and plan.

Over the past few years, Grieg Seafood has been able to reduce underlying farm costs through operational improvement initiatives. However, general cost inflation, and high feed prices in particular, are expected to continue to impact agricultural costs in the short to medium term. Grieg Seafood will continue to benchmark costs against competitors to ensure the company’s competitive strength.

Grieg Seafood typically aims for a 20-50% annual contract share. The estimated contract share for the Norwegian operations in the fourth quarter of 2022 is 32% and 23% for the full year 2022.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, the expected harvest volume is 17,500 tonnes, broken down as follows:

  • Rogaland: 6,500 tonnes
  • Finland: 9,800 tonnes
  • BC: 1,200 tons

The company now expects a harvest volume of 81,000 tonnes in 2022, down from the previously guided level of 87,000 tonnes. For 2023, the company is targeting a harvest volume of 87,000 tonnes, broken down as follows:

  • Rogaland: 29,000 tons
  • Finland: 33,000 tonnes
  • BC: 20,000 tons
  • NL: 5,000 tonnes

Presentation of the results
CEO Andreas Kvame and Atle Chief Financial Officer Harald Sandtorv will present the results live at Høyres Hus, Stortingsgata 20, Oslo today at 8:00 a.m. CET.

The presentation is available at https://investor.griegseafood.com/reports-&-presentations#quarterly,
or with the following link: link: https://channel.royalcast.com/landingpage/hegnarmedia/20221111_1/

Presentations and subsequent Q&As will be held in Norwegian. An English transcript of the presentations will be available at https://investor.griegseafood.com/reports-&-presentations#quarterly.

For more information, please contact:
Andreas Kvame, CEO
Mobile phone: +47 907 71 441

Atle Harald Sandtorv, Chief Financial Officer

Mobile phone +47 908 45 252

About Grieg Seafood
Grieg Seafood ASA is one of the world’s leading salmon farmers. Our farms are located in Finnmark and Rogaland in Norway, as well as in British Columbia and Newfoundland in Canada. Our head office is located in Bergen, Norway. Grieg Seafood ASA was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in June 2007. More than 750 people work in the company in all our regions.

Sustainable farming practices are the foundation of Grieg Seafood’s business. The lowest possible environmental impact and the best possible fish welfare are both an ethical responsibility and a driver of economic profitability. Towards 2026, we aim for global growth, cost reductions and to evolve from a pure salmon supplier to an innovation partner for selected customers.

To learn more, please visit www.griegseafood.com

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements in accordance with Section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Act.

  • Quarterly report GSF Q3 2022

  • Quarterly presentation GSF Q3 2022

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