The report reveals a mixed twelve months when SSF achieved record production and sales levels but overall lower profits.
SSF reported operating revenues last year of $103 million, a reduction of $5 million compared to 2021. Operating profit for 2022 was $19.5 million, down from $24.4 million the previous year.
Stolt Sea Farm said the year-on-year difference in operational profit was due to the significant gain in 2021 on fair-value evaluation of biomass of $17.4 million, compared with a fair-value loss of $1.0 million in 2022.
Like many other aquaculture producers in 2022, SSF’s operations were hit by rising costs due to both the energy crisis and inflation. However, the company’s high productivity helped to compensate for this, said Trias Fita.
“Our 2022 performance demonstrated our ongoing ability to work together to overcome challenges,” Trias Fita said in his report. “It also showed how we have maintained our founding principles since 1972: sustainability, innovation and commitment to the environment and people.”
Ambition to expand, with record production in 2022
SSF owns 14 land-based farms, including new recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facilities in Cervo, Spain, and Tocha, Portugal. The company is one of Europe’s top flat fish farmers, producing 6,500 tons of turbot and 1,600 tons of sole each year.
SSF has previously announced it intends to significantly expand its operations in the future, aiming to produce 23,000 tonnes of turbot and sole annually by 2035.
“This year’s performance demonstrates the strength of our offering and diversification strategy,” Trias Fita added.
“We set a new production record for turbot, with our products reaching more new customers than ever before. We set a new weekly sales record for sole, capitalising on the consolidation of demand thanks to our production capacity and unique range, which includes large sizes.”
Investment in RAS continues for Stolt
SSF’s RAS facilities exceeded expectations for biomass growth, according to the report, and RAS continues to feature prominently in SSF’s strategy.
Trias Fita said the company is investing in three new RAS facilities. In 2022 SSF also acquired shares in land-based RAS specialist The Kingfish Company, which farms yellowtail kingfish at locations in the Netherlands and the U.S.
“We also consolidated operational changes and increased production in our Iceland operations as part of our ongoing transformation programme,” Trias Fita said in the report.
Value-added product (VAP) growth and new markets
SSF’s VAP offering grew 36% from last year, which the company says reflects growth in demand for convenience, versatility and consistent supply. To boost VAP production capacity, SSF purchased land in Spain and Portugal to construct new processing areas. Modernisations are also underway at its processing plant in Lira, Spain.
The company also expanded its sales in new markets, increasing the volume of turbot sold by 18% and almost doubling the volume of sole.
Growth in demand expected for 2023
Trias Fita expects to see continued growth in demand for high-quality, sustainable seafood in 2023, and says SSF is “in a strong position to capitalise on this demand due to our market-leading production capacity, innovations and customer relationships.”
“This will help SSF mitigate the effects of ongoing inflation and the higher costs of energy and feed,” he predicted.
“We expect to see further growth in our Northern European markets as well as in our VAP offering, with our range of new products gaining momentum following this year’s launch. Our transformation programme will continue as our expansion plans progress to the execution phase and we continue to build our data capabilities.”
About Stolt Sea Farm
Stolt Sea Farm (SSF) is a pioneer in land-based aquaculture. The business focuses on sustainable growth and building partnerships with customers and communities, while adhering to high animal welfare and environmental protection standards. SSF is part of the Stolt-Nielsen Group, and is headquartered in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.