October 15, 2019 / 4:47 AM / a month ago

Norway's Mowi earnings miss on low prices, higher fish mortality

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s Mowi ASA (MOWI.OL), the world’s largest fish farmer, on Tuesday reported lower-than-expected third-quarter profits, amid declining salmon prices.

The firm’s operational earnings before interest and tax fell 29% year-on-year to 146 million euros ($161 million) for the July-September quarter, according to its preliminary earnings report. This missed a Refinitiv SmartEstimate poll estimate of 153 million euros.

Contributing to the decline was the company’s recent warning that rising seawater temperatures led to a spike in fish mortality at its Canadian operation, triggering a one-off cost of 5 million euros.

Mowi’s salmon output stood at 117,000 tonnes in the quarter, above its own forecast of 113,000 tonnes. But the price has fallen to multi-year lows amid rising output and is currently 19% lower than a year ago, Statistics Norway export data showed.

Formerly known as Marine Harvest, Mowi is controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen, who also holds stakes in shipping, oil service firms and real estate, among them Frontline (FRO.OL) and Golden Ocean (GOGL.O).

A full earnings report for the quarter is due on Oct. 30.

Reporting by Victoria Klesty and Terje Solsvik; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Rashmi Aich

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