Nordic Halibut: revenues drop amid strategic shift to larger-sized fish

The Norwegian halibut farmer saw a 41% year-on-year fall in revenues, and made a loss of NOK 8.4 million during the first quarter of 2024.
Nordic Halibut's new land-based facility in Tingvoll. Construction began in August 2023.
Nordic Halibut's new land-based facility in Tingvoll. Construction began in August 2023.Photo: Nordic Halibut.

Nordic Halibut has released its financial and operational results for the first quarter of 2024, showing a hefty year-on-year drop in revenue and a plunge into the red, on the back of significantly lower harvest volume, as well as a slight decline in price achievement.

The Norwegian halibut farmer made a pre-tax loss during the first quarter of NOK 8.4 million (EUR 726,000 /USD 788,000), compared with NOK 100,000 EBITDA during the same period last year.

Total revenue for the quarter was NOK 22 million, marking a 41% year-on-year decline.

However, the halibut farming company said the results were "in line with expectations" as it shifts its strategy towards harvesting larger-sized fish for better price realization.

Drop in harvest volumes due to new "big fish" strategy

Nordic Halibut produced 150 tonnes (135 tonnes HOG) of halibut during Q1, down by approximately 40% from last year.

Although it achieved a superior quality rate of 99.7% in Q1 2024 (up from 98.3% last year), Nordic Halibut also experienced a slight decline in price achievement, down to 163 NOK/kg from 165 NOK/kg in the previous quarter.

Nordic Halibut said it attributed the lower prices to both lower harvest weights and a reduced export share to the US market.

In a press release on the Oslo Bors exchange, the halibut farmer said it "continues to be well positioned to achieve long-term production targets of 4,500 tonnes head-on-gutted (HOG) within 2026 and 10,350 tonnes HOG within 2031."

One million fish to be released per year

Looking ahead, Nordic Halibut intends to release one million fish annually into the sea until its new infrastructure, including a land-based facility at Tingvoll, is completed by 2027.

Over the last few years, the halibut farming company has steadily increased the number of fish released, from 242,000 in 2021 to 701,000 in 2022, and 795,000 in 2023. 

To capitalize on market trends, Nordic Halibut says it is refining its commercial strategy to focus on larger-sized halibut, which command premium prices in key export markets.

The company indicated the results were in line with its "strategic harvest plan, which emphasizes biomass growth to support the adjusted commercial targets".

This strategic shift is expected to temporarily reduce harvest volumes between 2024 and 2026 but will be offset by higher pricing for larger fish, the company said in its report. 

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