Historic result

Mackerel is among the winners The pelagic consumption industry – in other words companies which freeze or process herring, mackerel and capelin for consumption – had its best year ever in 2009. It was also a good year for the clipfish industry.

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Mackerel is among the winners
Mackerel is among the winners

The pelagic consumption industry – in other words companies which freeze or process herring, mackerel and capelin for consumption – had its best year ever in 2009. It was also a good year for the clipfish industry.

However, 2009 was marked by the financial crisis which started in 2008. But the Norwegian fisheries industry was in a favourable situation on the supply side where the availability of raw material increased as a result of a significant increase in quotas for important species. To sum up 2009 from an economic perspective, it was a better year for the industry than the previous year. This is the conclusion of the annual analysis implemented by Nofima on commission for the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. The report for 2009 will be finished by the end of the year.

Major differences between various sectors and industries

The strong improvement in the pre-tax result can be attributed in particular to the fact that a major proportion of the non-realised currency losses which were charged as expenses in 2008 were reduced in 2009 and returned as income in the accounts for 2009. There were also differences in profitability between various sectors and industries, as well as large differences internally within many industries. But for some sectors 2009 was almost as bad as 2008.

Good money in clipfish and the pelagic industry

For much of the clipfish industry 2009 was a good year. Clipfish companies recorded a strong improvement in their operating result and also recorded as income the currency losses, which as expenses constituted 90 % of the losses the previous year.

The pelagic consumption industry had its best year ever. Overall the industry recorded a pre-tax result of 4.4 % of operating revenue, which is the best result in this industry’s history. The nominal pre-tax profit was more than NOK 250 million, which was approximately double that of the previous year. An explanation for the good result was the fact that the industry produced more herring, mackerel and capelin. Overall production increased by 23 % compared with the previous year.

Whitefish industry still struggling

Sectors of the whitefish industry had another extremely difficult year with strong price falls and difficult market conditions for some important products. This relates particular to salted fish and stockfish producers, who also posted large losses in 2009.

Overall the fillet industry also suffered a loss, despite better earnings and significant growth in the export of fresh fillet.

“At the start of 2010 the situation was still extremely serious for many companies in the whitefish industry,” says Scientist Bjørn Inge Bendiksen at Nofima. “One in five companies entered the new year with negative shareholder equity”.

Industrial Economics   Marketing Research  

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