March 1, 2010


Norwegian Leroy Seafood posts excellent Q4 figures



The fourth-quarter figures posted by Norwegian company Leroy Seafood Group were excellent and this is also reflected in the figures of sector player Austevoll Seafood.


According to Aslak Berge, analyst with First Securities, Leroy posted on Thursday (Feb 25) all-time high operating profit before value adjustment of the biomass of NOK311 million (US$52.4 million) for October-December 2009, beating the previous record of NOK275 million (US$46.3 million) from the third quarter of the year.


Austevoll Seafood owns 63.7% in Leroy and posted an operating profit before write-downs of NOK556 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, up from NOK296 million (US$49.9 million) in the same period a year ago.


"This is the best report from Leroy ever and one should note that this has happened in a so-called low-price quarter, when the average salmon price was NOK27 (US$4.55) per kg. So beating the market consensus for the operating profit by some NOK60 million (US$10.1 million) is a sign of solid operations," Berge said.


Berge also noted that Leroy chose to pay a higher dividend than it guided in the previous quarter. The board of directors has proposed a dividend of NOK7 (US$1.18) a piece for 2009.


He expects good 2010 results especially in view of the fish disease problems in Chile, and sees even better performance by Leroy in the first quarter.


The share in Leroy Seafood Group closed at NOK128.00, up 1.59% on the day on Thursday on the Oslo Stock Exchange, while the stock in Austevoll Seafood was last traded at NOK44.40 (US$7.49), down by 3.48%.