Bloomberg News

Grieg Slides as Fish Disease Cuts Earnings, Harvest: Oslo Mover

January 17, 2013

Grieg Seafood ASA (GSF) fell the most in three months in Oslo after the salmon farmer said fish disease at its farms in Canada and the U.K. will lead to an 88 million kroner ($16 million) writedown and lower harvest volumes.

Shares in the company, based in Bergen on Norway’s west coast, declined as much as 10 percent, the most since Oct. 16, and traded 4.7 percent lower at 12.2 kroner as of 2:30 p.m. in the Norwegian capital. More than 262,000 shares have been traded so far today, compared with a three-month daily average volume of about 57,000.

Grieg has experienced “extraordinary mortalities” at its Hjaltland unit in the U.K. after an outbreak of amoebic gill disease, meaning its 2012 harvest will be 2,400 metric tons less than previously expected, the company said in a statement today. In Canada, the discovery of furunculosis, which leads to the growth of boils on fish skins, will lead to a smaller harvest in 2014 than was originally expected this year, it said.

The fourth-quarter underlying result “seems to be 30 million kroner to 40 million kroner lower than we expected,” Pareto Securites AS said in an e-mailed note to clients today. Earnings estimates will “come significantly down” for the fourth quarter and lower volume guiding in Canada will reduce expected harvest volumes in 2014 by about 6 percent, it said.

Fish farmers including Marine Harvest ASA (MHG) and Cermaq ASA, Norway’s largest, have been hit by disease outbreaks around the world in the last three years that have increased costs and cut profits. Producers detected the haematopoietic necrosis virus at fish farms in British Columbia last July while salmon output in Chile was ravaged by a virus in 2007 that slashed fish supply.

Shares in Grieg have more than doubled during the last 12 months, giving the company a market value of 1.4 billion kroner.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Treloar in Oslo at streloar1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net


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