April 15, 2014


Marine Harvest reports leap in Q1 2014 results




Norwegian Marine Harvest, the world's largest fish-farming company, achieved the best quarterly operating results in its eight-year history following a larger-than-expected harvest and rising prices for salmon and other fish.


This was reported by the Wall Street Journal.


Marine Harvest, which was formed from a merger in 2006 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) earlier this year, is the biggest player in an expanding global aquaculture industry as demand for food increases.


The Bergen, Norway-based company said it expects to increase supply and proposed a sizable dividend increase as a result of the favourable conditions.


Marine Harvest earned an operating profit of US$181 million in the quarter ending March 31, more than double on-year. The operating profit, which excludes interest and taxes, outpaced initial expectations of analysts polled by the Reuters news agency.


It is scheduled to report Q1 earnings April 30.


Marine Harvest's solid first quarter follows a record 2013, during which it harvested 343,772 tonnes of fish, gutted weight.


And although volume was lower than the prior year in the period, strong pricing, due partly to constrained supply, lifted results.


The company had said it expected to harvest 80,000 tonnes gutted weight during the first quarter, but exceeded that estimate with a total of 92,000 tonnes during the period, an increase of 15% compared with the year earlier.


The performance bolsters chief executive Alf-Helge Aarskog's drive to draw the attention of deep-pocketed investors to Marine Harvest and the wider aquaculture industry.


Marine Harvest, with key farming operations in Norway, Chile, Canada and Scotland, is looking to accelerate growth as demand booms for farmed fish. These products, which accounted for 9% of global fish supply in 1980, has risen to 47% of the stock, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation.


Shares of Marine Harvest traded up 2.9% Monday in Oslo, outperforming the wider Norwegian equities market.

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