"A testament to our vision": Salmon Evolution achieves profit in first quarter

CEO Trond Håkon Schaug-Pettersen says the land-based salmon farming company is "only at the start of our journey," as it makes a profit for the first time, achieving NOK 40/kg EBITDA in Q1 2024.
Trond Håkon Schaug-Pettersen, Salmon Evolution CEO.

Trond Håkon Schaug-Pettersen, Salmon Evolution CEO.

Photo: Salmon Evolution.

Salmon Evolution, the Norwegian land-based salmon farming company, has reason to celebrate today, as it confirms it has made a profit for the first time - and a highly encouraging outlook for the future.

Announcing its financial results for the first quarter of 2024 at a presentation in Oslo this morning (Tuesday 7 May), the company reported operating revenues of NOK 100.3 million (USD 9.5m / EUR 8.6m) and a group EBITDA of NOK 24.1 million (USD 2.2m / EUR 2.06m) for Q1.

The figures mark a dramatic leap into profitability from last year's Q1 loss of NOK 22.4 million (USD 2.1m / EUR 1.9m). The company broke even in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Trond Håkon Schaug-Pettersen, CEO of Salmon Evolution, said this new financial milestone reflects the company's vision of growing salmon on land with strong biological standards and high profitability.

"The strong results in the first quarter are a testament to our vision and truly demonstrate that Salmon Evolution has established a unique, efficient, and profitable growth platform," Schaug-Pettersen said, before adding: "We are only at the start of our journey."

96% superior share achieved in Q1, and record high biomass going into Q2

The quarter's highlights included a farming EBITDA of NOK 36.2 million (USD 3.3m / EUR 3.1m), equivalent to NOK 40.2 (USD 3.7m / EUR 3.44) EBITDA per kilogram.

Salmon Evolution harvested 901 tonnes HOG (head-on gutted) during Q1, with an average weight of 4.6 kg live weight and an "industry-leading" superior share of 96%, while also achieving strong price realization.

By the end of the quarter, the company had also reached a record high standing biomass of almost 2,700 tonnes live weight, Schaug-Pettersen reported at this morning's presentation.

Farming operations remained stable during the quarter, contributing to a net biomass growth of approximately 1,560 tonnes live weight, an 8% increase from Q4 2023.

Salmon Evolution expects Q2 harvest volumes to be between 1,600 and 1,800 tonnes HOG, the company confirmed.

Priorities for 2024: Phase 2 expansion and smolt optimization

Salmon Evoluion is currently developing the Phase 2 expansion of facilities at its Indre Harøy farming site in western Norway.

The company said in its report that "The project is proceeding as planned and the ambition is to take the final investment decision in Q2 2024 and initiate construction after the summer holiday."

Another key item on Salmon Evolution's upcoming agenda is harmonizing the production plan at its smolt facility with the grow-out operation at Indre Harøy.

The company said it expected "significant improvement" in this regard during 2024, both on regularity and stocking weights of smolt, allowing for optimization of harvest weights and volumes.

Expansion plans in North America: construction slated for 2026

As we previously reported, Salmon Evolution is in "advanced negotiations" over its new North American site, but the company has not disclosed any further details of its chosen location as yet - although it aims to begin construction in as little as two years.

"It is expected that site verification and relevant regulatory approval processes will take two to three years, allowing for construction start during 2026, upon which the plan is to build a full scale 31.5kt HOG 'Indre Harøy' facility drawing on the experiences learned from Norway," the company stated in its Q1 report.

"To facilitate this expansion, the Group has established a dedicated team of both in-house and external resources and is currently in the process of ramping this team up," the company said.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Trond Håkon Schaug-Pettersen, Salmon Evolution CEO. </p></div>
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