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Which salmon farmer is making the most money per kilo?

IntraFish found some surprising differentials in earnings per kilo throughout the first six months of the year.

There were some clear winners when comparing the all-important earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) per kilo of publicly listed salmon producers in the first half of the year.

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IntraFish compared half-year financials presented throughout the month of August on the Oslo, Santiago and Australian stock exchanges. While a range of factors influence results of operations regionally, from environmental to regulatory issues, and multiple factors determine the efficiency and profitability of a company, our comparison is a simple contrast of the performance based solely on the EBIT/kg indicator.

Wide range, even within companies

In the recent IntraFish valuation of salmon producers, the Norwegian giant Mowi ranked first, with a market cap of just under $13 billion (€11.7 billion). So it's no surprise that it operates the world's "most profitable" farming operation as well: its Ireland organic salmon operation.

Earnings per kilo were €3.36 ($3.70) in Mowi's Irish operations, maintaining its rank compared to the same time last year, with a slight 0.59 percent dip.

However, Mowi is also the owner of one of the industry's lowest EBIT/kg performers: its Canada operations posted earnings of €1.09 ($1.20) per kilo during the first six months of this year, though the figure was a 5.9 jump compared to the first half of last year.

Oslo-listed Grieg Seafood's operations fared poorest in the ranking. Its British Columbia operations suffered massive losses, pushing EBIT/kg to a negative €0.31 ($0.34) during the first half of 2019, a more than three-fold drop.

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In Norway, there tended to be slightly less divergence between the bulk of producers. SalMar's central Norwegian operations yielded the best results of €2.84 ($3.10) per kilo, up 6.4 percent compared to the same time last year.

Next in line is Grieg Seafood's farm in Rogaland, Western Norway, which scored earnings of €2.68 ($3.00) per kilo during the half year, a more than two-fold improvement from last year.

Norway Royal Salmon's northern operations fell in line with Grieg Rogaland with earnings at €2.66 ($2.90) per kilo, a sharp 22.6 percent jump from results last year. Grieg's operations in Finnmark came next, with operating at earnings of €2.31 ($2.50) per kilo, up 18.4 percent.

SalMar's northern operations also received earnings of €2.27 ($2.50) per kilo, however, the figure was down 25.3 percent in comparison to the first half of last year.

Despite Mowi being the most valuable salmon farmer, its Norwegian operations did not top the list, with average earnings of €2.25 ($2.50) per kilo in the first half of 2019, climbing 7 percent from last year.

Leroy was, through the first half, less efficient than others, with earnings of €2.14 ($2.40) per kilo in its Aurora operations, €2.01 ($2.20) per kilo in its Midt region farms and €0.98 ($1.10) per kilo in its Stojroll farms, all of which fell 29.6 percent, 13.4 percent and 25.2 percent, respectively.

Norway Royal Salmon's southern activities ranked in last place in Norway in terms of EBIT/kg, with earnings of only €0.31 ($0.34) per kilo during the first half of 2019, down more than 84 percent from the year prior.

Scotland in decline

Most farmers operating in Scotland saw a decline in earnings per kilo on the half.

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Norskott Havbruk, which controls Scottish Sea Farms, came in first with earnings of €2.06 ($2.30) per kilo, down 25.4 percent compared to last year.

Mowi Scotland managed to increase earnings by 22.2 percent to €2.59 ($2.90) per kilo, while The Scottish Salmon Company, which recently announced potential plans to sell part or the entire company, saw earnings per kilo drop 19.2 percent to €1.90 ($2.10).

Grieg's farm in Shetland saw a major downturn, slipping into the red with losses of €0.89 ($0.98) per kilo in the first half of this year.

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Mowi's operations in the Faroe Islands flat lined the past year, with earnings of €2.22 ($2.50) per kilo, while Faroe Islands-based Bakkafrost saw earnings sink 14 percent to €2.72 ($3.00) per kilo compared to last year.

SalMar-owned Icelandic salmon farmer Arnarlax was able to recover from negative earnings in 2018 to €1.05 ($1.20) per kilo in the first half of 2019.

Further South

Results in Chile were quite aligned, with only slight changes when compared to last year's results in the first half of the year.

Multiexport EBIT went up about 4.5 percent to €1.16 ($1.30) per kilo in the first half of 2019, while Australis' earnings increased around 10 percent to €1.03 ($1.10) per kilo, and Salmones Camanchaca's earnings sunk 16 percent to €0.84 ($0.93) according to the interim results.

Down under, Australian-listed firm Tassal yielded 4 percent stronger earnings of €2.85 ($3.20) in the six months up to June 2019 compared to last, while Huon Aquaculture earnings dropped 17.5 percent in the first six months to €2.36 ($2.60) per kilo.

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