BioMar reports higher salmon feed sales volume, new builds on track

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Leroy
© Leroy
Danish fish feed player, BioMar, yesterday (May 4) said its Q1 2017 had improved sales and stronger EBIT compared to the same period in 2016.

Good operational performance across the divisions, but in the salmon business in particular, along with product innovation​ were behind the profit hike, it said.

It reported a revenue improvement of 30% in Q1 2017 to DKK 1,99bn from DKK 1,53bn in Q1 2016.

Total volume of its fish feeds sold jumped from 166,000 metric tons (Mt) in the quarter last year to 205,000 Mt in Q12017.

EBIT more than doubled from DKK 22m in Q1 2016 to DKK 51m (US$7.5m) in Q1 2017, it reported.

The advance was driven by a 24% increase in volumes sold, mainly consisting of volume increases in the salmon division with all three geographical areas - Norway, Scotland and Chile - reporting improvements, according to parent group, Schouw & Co, in an interim note​.

In the EMEA division, an increase in volumes sold from the factory in Denmark was offset by a slight drop in sales in Greece, it added.

Foreign exchange developments and prices of raw materials had only a moderate impact in the first quarter, said Schouw & Co.

“Efficiency enhancements and focused margin management have continued to drive operational improvements in 2017, and a change in product mix drove strong sales of functional feed. As expected, margins in Chile were lower than in Q1 2016, but overall EBIT improved due to the greater level of business activity,”​ it added.

The fish feed company expects an increase in revenue and an improvement in core earnings in 2017.

“However, the 2016 EBIT included positive effects of significant income flows relating to special circumstances that cannot be expected to occur again to the same extent in 2017. Accordingly, the profit range guided for 2017 is lower than the EBIT realized in 2016,”​ said Schouw & Co.

New production capacity

BioMar said it is gradually winning back the volumes lost in Chile due to the severe algal blooms of early 2016.

In the Norwegian market, the construction of a new production line at the existing factory in Karmøy is on target, it added. Expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2017, the new production line will have an annual capacity of 140,000 tons.

BioMar said it is making further investments in Norway in terms of functional feeds and logistics, and has signed a long-term lease for another natural gas powered ship that will help cut transport-related carbon emissions. 

Its new factory in Turkey, built in association with Turkish company Sagun Group, began commercial production in Q32016. “After a slow start, production is now improving by the month, and the market is developing favorably.”

In China, it is constructing a new fish feed factory in Wuxi near Shanghai in a joint venture with Chinese partner, Tongwei Co. Ltd. The factory, which is expected to open in the second half of 2017, will have a capacity of about 50,000 tons, and will focus on feed for high-value fish farming.

In November 2016, the Chinese joint venture acquired fish feed producer, Haiwei, and its factory near Hong Kong. “The transaction will help accelerate market penetration and generate higher sales in 2017.” 

In March this year, BioMar announced an almost DKK 300m investment in a new feed factory in Australia. “The project is currently awaiting approval from the Australian authorities, and the new facility is expected to be ready by the end of 2019.”

It is set to have an annual capacity of about 110,000 tons of fish feed.

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