Grieg Seafood said today that the sale of its Shetland business is continuing and going to plan.
The company made the disclosure as it unveiled its first quarter results, which came out lower than expected. However, it has not provided any further details regarding the sale.
The company announced in November that it would dispose of its UK farming operation and concentrate on Norway and Canada. It still expects the sale to be completed this year.
Shetland is now classed as “discontinued operations” and is not included in the first quarter results which show an EBIT or operational loss of NOK 16m (£1.4m), compared with a profit of NOK 216m (£19m) in Q1 2020.
The company said lower market prices negatively impacted on earnings to the tune of NOK 141m (£12m). Q1 Revenues fell by 43% to NOK 660m (£57m).
Over supply of downgraded salmon due to winter ulcers also affected margins in Norway, but there was good biological performance in Rogaland (Norway) and in British Columbia.
Harvest volumes during the quarter dropped from 16,315 tonnes in 2020 to 13,583 tonnes this year.
Commenting on the group’s performance, CEO Andreas Kvame, said: “The first quarter turned out largely as expected. Covid-19 continued to characterise our markets, impacting price achievement. Equally, our employees and supply chains continued to show resilience and flexibility, keeping the wheels turning on a steady pace.
“Our plan stays firm; we will improve profitability, streamline the organisation, and secure financial capacity.
“The bulk of our investment in Newfoundland is now behind us and we have gained increased flexibility through the bridge loan that has been extended to Q1 2022. The process to divest our business in Shetland is ongoing, and is proceeding according to plan.
He added: “Operationally, BC continued their strong biological performance, building on operational improvement efforts implemented over the last few years.
Finnmark’s performance was impacted by challenging biology in the region, including low temperatures, ISA (infectious salmon anaemia) and winter ulcers.
Kvame said: “In Rogaland, biological performance was relatively good, with increased survival and no outbreaks of PD [pancreas disease]. Our Newfoundland freshwater operations also went well and according to schedule, where the first fish will be transferred to sea during the coming summer.”