Resilient demand - good cost control - substantial losses in Chile

Thursday, 07. May 2009 07:00
Oslo, May 7th 2009) Marine Harvest ASA achieved an operational EBIT
of MNOK 55 in the first quarter, compared to MNOK 49 in the
corresponding quarter last year. The Norwegian, Canadian and Scottish
operations, all showed good operational improvements. Harvesting of
small ISA-affected fish in Chile lead to significant losses in this
business unit. Currency effects had a positive impact on revenues and
financial items, but a negative impact on EBIT.

Demand for salmon has proven to be resilient, with stable or
increasing demand in most markets. Volume-weighted prices in local
currencies were in line with prices in the first quarter of 2008.
Adjusted for high feed cost, the cost level is under control and
decreasing in Norway, Scotland and Canada. Marine Harvest has
undertaken an intensive harvesting of ISA-affected salmon in Chile.
The harvested fish had low weight and low quality, a high cost and a
low price per kilo. Operations in Chile will be restructured in the
second quarter.

- With strong demand, increasing prices and decreasing costs, I have
an optimistic view on the development for the rest of 2009, says Åse
Aulie Michelet, chief executive officer of Marine Harvest.

Marine Harvest reported operating revenues of MNOK 3 217 in the first
quarter of 2009 (3 160), with operational EBIT of MNOK 55 in the
period (49). EBIT was MNOK 101 in the period (-410). A total volume
of 76 177 tonnes HOG was sold in the first quarter 2009, compared to
83 135 tonnes HOG in the same quarter last year. The strengthening of
USD and EUR towards NOK from the first quarter last year, more than
outweighed the effect of lower volumes on operational revenue.
Volatile currency rates also had a direct and negative effect on
operational EBIT of MNOK 82 compared to a positive effect of MNOK 79
in the first quarter last year. This effect is related to short term
positions. The cash flow from operation was MNOK 327 in the first
quarter 2009, compared to MNOK 608 in the first quarter of 2008.

Substantial changes in currency rates and interest rates, with impact
on debt in foreign currencies and valuation of interest rate hedges,
contributed to net financial items of MNOK 254 in the first quarter
(-224). Currency effects also impacted the balance sheet through
valuation of debt in NOK and valuation of cash flow hedges, leading
to an equity ratio of 47,8 % at the end of the first quarter,
compared to 42,3 % at the end of the fourth quarter 2008.

Marine Harvest Norway delivered an operational EBIT per kg of NOK
2.79 in the first quarter (3.89), while Marine Harvest Chile had an
operational EBIT per kg of NOK -13.74 in the period (-5.71). Adjusted
for direct currency effects Marine Harvest Norway achieved an
operational EBIT per kg of NOK 5.36 (3.16) Marine Harvest Canada and
Marine Harvest Scotland reported operational EBIT per kg of NOK 5.88
and NOK 6.97 respectively (1.71 and -5.03). Marine Harvest VAP Europe
reported an operational EBIT margin of 3.3 % in the first quarter
(3.0 %).

Marine Harvest expects to harvest a volume of 296 000 tons of
salmonids in 2009, of which 73 000 tons are expected to be harvested
in the second quarter.

- Both demand and prices have developed favourably so far in 2009.
From April, global supply of salmon will fall. We have achieved good
cost control in Norway, Canada and Scotland. From the second quarter
we will gradually start harvesting salmon fed on lower cost feed.
During Q2 we will implement a new business plan for Chile. This will
have negative financial consequences on EBIT in this quarter, mainly
as accounting effects. I am very encouraged by the strong market, and
our operational improvements in key regions, and expect continued
improved performance in 2009, says Åse Aulie Michelet.

For further information, please contact

Jørgen Andersen, CFO, tel +47 21 56 20 09, mobile +47 951 43 854
Henrik Heiberg, Finance Director, tel +47 21 56 20 11, mobile +47 917
47 724


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

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