Marine Farms ASA - 4th Quarter 2008 results

Thursday, 26. February 2009 07:40
Marine Farms experienced mix profitability in 4th quarter 2008. Its
salmon operations in the UK did very well, generating an EBIT/kg gwt
sold salmon of NOK 7.4. Despite historic low seabream prices, its
seabream/seabass operations in Spain still managed to generate an
acceptable NOK 2.2/kg sold fish. Costs related to the establishment
of the two new cobia operations in Belize and Vietnam resulted in a
negative EBIT of NOK 23 mill in 4th quarter 2008. Most of the larger
investments in staff, equipment and infrastructure will soon be in
place and the new cobia operations should then be well positioned for
future profitable growth.

- In the 4th quarter 2008, revenue increased by 10% compared to the
same period last year. EBIT before fair value was NOK -0.5 mill
compared to NOK 29.5 mill last year. The drop was mainly due to
increased costs for the cobia business as well as lower profitability
for the seabass/seabream operation in Spain. In addition, Lakeland
was negatively affected by a lower NOK/GBP exchange rate.

- For the year 2008, revenue increased by 3% compared to 2007. EBIT
before fair value was NOK 26.1 mill, which was NOK 68.5 mill lower
than the year before.

- The salmon operations in Lakeland (UK), a 100% owned subsidiary of
Marine Farms ASA, continue to do well. The company obtained an
EBIT/kg gwt sold salmon of NOK 7.4 in 4th quarter 2008 (NOK 7.6 in
2007). Volumes increased by 9% in 4th quarter 2008 compared to same
quarter last year. For the year 2008, Lakeland generated an EBIT/kg
sold fish of NOK 7.8.

- The seabass/seabream operations in Culmarex (Spain), a 100% owned
subsidiary of Marine Farms ASA, obtained an EBIT/kg sold
seabass/seabream of NOK 2.2 in 4th quarter 2008 (NOK 6.8 in 2007).
Volumes dropped slightly in 4th quarter 2008 compared to same quarter
last year. For the year 2008, Culmarex generated an EBIT/kg sold fish
of NOK -1.8.

- The development of the two new cobia operations in Belize and in
Vietnam are progressing according to plan, although the organisations
are now set up for significant increased production, resulting in
higher losses when biomass production is low. The new marine hatchery
in Belize should be up and running in time for the cobia spawning
season, starting in spring 2009.

- Per 31.12.2008, equity amounted to NOK 492 mill (34.1% equity
ratio) and net interest-bearing debt amounted to NOK 649 mill. Net
interest bearing debt increased by some NOK 70 mill due to the
significant increase in the EUR and the USD exchange rates in 4th
quarter 2008. As pr 31.12.2008, the group had approximately NOK 150
mill in free cash and available credit facilities. The group should
have sufficient funding in 2009.

Marine Farms ASA combines farming of salmon with profitable farming
of marine species. In addition the Company is exploiting
opportunities within new marine species such as cobia. Marine Farms
has a clearly defined strategy to invest in regions/segments where it
may become one of the top producer's earnings wise. Focus is on large
and efficient clusters, controlling the entire value chain from
broodfish to customer. Its activity shall be diversified in terms of
species and markets, leveraging on established species and investing
in new ones. The company will seek market leadership in selected
niches by being an innovative and trustworthy supplier of high
quality seafood products.

For further information, please contact Bjørn Myrseth or Pål
Tel: +47 55 90 44 70
e-mail: or

This announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is
solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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