BREAKING: Mowi’s NOK 5bn investment cut “only the beginning”

Mowi's decision comes in the wake of Norway's adoption this week of its ground rent tax for aquaculture, at 25%.
Ivan Vindheim speaking at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in March 2023. Photo: NASF/M.Wanvik.
Ivan Vindheim speaking at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in March 2023. Photo: NASF/M.Wanvik.

Mowi, the world's largest salmon farming company, has today confirmed it has cut investments in Norway worth NOK 5 billion.

The decision comes in reaction to the recently-confirmed Norwegian ground rent tax, the so-called "salmon tax", which has been set by the Norwegian parliament at 25%.

Speaking today to Norwegian news outlet VG, Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim confirmed the cut, warning that this is "only the beginning".

Mowi had planned to develop seven land-based post-smolt facilities along the Norwegian coast, with a total investment of approximately NOK 5 billion. Vindheim said that Mowi's board had confirmed the halt to the company's post-smolt strategy, which will affect approximately 1,400 man-years in the construction phase alone, and will also likely have consequences for the supplier industry in Norway.

Vindheim has been a consistently outspoken critic of the Norwegian tax proposals since they were first announced in September last year.

Speaking to WeAreAquaculture on 11 May, Vindheim said Norway's salmon tax plans were "unsustainable" and posed a significant risk for Mowi's long-term business planning and investments. "We've put all the structural, large investments in Norway on hold until we know the outcome of the 2025 election. We cannot justify going ahead with investments that are too risky. If we have to pay extra taxes going forward, that will have negative consequences, first and foremost on our investments in Norway. In the other countries capex proceeds as usual."

Vindheim says Mowi's investments "will be diverted abroad"

Commenting to VG today, Vindheim said that the tax situation is forcing the company to look outside of Norway for future development.

"We are already in place in seven countries and with the tax regime that is now in place in Norway, our investments will be diverted abroad to a much greater extent. We will still operate in Norway, but far from the investment that was planned. Then we can hope that the framework conditions change in the long term, so that we can contribute, as we wish, to building businesses and workplaces all around Norway," he told VG.

The Norwegian government originally proposed a tax rate of 40% in September 2022. The rate of 25% was finally adopted in the Storting, Norway's parliament, on Wednesday this week.

This spring, Mowi broke records in its first quarter results, posting an operating profit of EUR 322 million (USD 354 million), and the highest revenues in its history, at EUR 1.36 billion (USD 1.5 billion).

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