Some days ago, took place the Samherji’s Annual General Meeting, where were presented the financial statements of the company for the year 2021. In his address at the Annual General Meeting, Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, the CEO of the Icelandic company, mentioned significant investment in aquaculture in the coming years, which will amount to EUR 400 million.
“We at Samherji have great faith in land-based fish farming, but all development in the sector is very costly. Therefore, the company must be financially strong now as before. The consolidated financial statements show that this is the case. The company’s Annual General Meeting decided not to pay dividends and instead channel the company’s investment capacity into new projects in the fish industry,” said Baldvinsson.
“Samherji, engaged in fishing, aquaculture, fish processing, sales, and marketing activities in fisheries and other related operations, obtained income from sales totaled EUR 357.7 million in the year 2021, and with other revenue, the operating income totaled 377.5 million. Profit from the group’s operations amounted to EUR 118.8 million compared with EUR 50.7 million in 2020.”
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were EUR 60.6 million, almost the same EBITDA result as the year before. During the year, shares in associated companies were sold, and the net profit from the sale amounted to EUR 36.3 million. The most significant part of that is the sale of a 12% stake in Síldarvinnslan hf. Share in the profit of associated companies also positively affected the year’s earnings.
Other figures and milestones
The number of man-years of the group during the year was 807, which is virtually unchanged from the previous year. Last year, the group’s total salary payments amounted to EUR 70.1 million and increased by almost 10% between years. Last year, 31% of employees were women and 69% men. The proportion of women on the company’s Board is 40% and men 60%.
“The group’s assets at the end of the year amounted to EUR 868 million, and equity was EUR 639.3 million. The group’s equity ratio at the end of the year was 73.6%, compared to 72% the year before, which underlines that the company’s balance sheet is sound.”
“We took on many challenges in 2021, as we do every year, but I must state that what stands out, as always, is the endless ambition, diligence and resourcefulness of Samherji’s employees. That is what these good operating results are based on. I am grateful to our people for their contribution and unwavering loyalty to Samherji,” says Baldvinsson.
“Of individual factors, the listing of Síldarvinnslan hf. on Nasdaq Iceland (Icelandic Stock Exchange) is important. We have been shareholders in Síldarvinnslan hf. since the turn of the century and are now reducing our share like other shareholders.
“This allowed the public to join the company, and they welcomed it, as about 6,500 new shareholders were immediately added to the group. Among the shareholders after the listing are also countless pension funds that look after the interests of tens of thousands of Icelanders.”
Thus, in a few days, a large part of the nation became active in an important industry. It is very gratifying and displays a lot of trust for those that have built the company.”
Of other milestones, Baldvinsson mentions a new pelagic vessel, Vilhelm Thorsteinsson EA11, which was introduced to Samherji’s fleet in April 2021. “Samherji has placed great emphasis on investing in new vessels, equipment and technology, both at sea and on land.
The company’s investments in this field totaled EUR 240 million in the last five years. We believe this will allow us to withstand international competition and create interesting and demanding jobs here in Iceland.”
Land-based fish farming
As previously disclosed, Samherji has begun preparations for a significant land-based fish farming site in Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. “Our subsidiary, Samherji fiskeldi ehf. (Samherji Fish farming) is now developing a new land-based fish farming site with a production capacity of up to 40 thousand tonnes of salmon.
“The farm will be located near the Reykjanes Geothermal Power Plant. The total investment in aquaculture is estimated at around EUR 400 million. The Board of Directors of Samherji hf. has decided to provide funding for the project’s first phase in Reykjanes by increasing the share capital of Samherji fiskeldi hf. up to EUR 50 million,” explained the CEO.”
“Work is underway to expand the land-based farming site in Öxarfjördur. Breeding facilities and production will double, which will result in the site’s capacity to produce up to three thousand tonnes annually. A new hatchery will also be built there.” The site in Öxarfjordur can be considered a ‘pilot project’ for the development in Reykjanes.
The investment in Öxarfjördur amounts to around EUR 26.6 million. “Next fall, construction will begin for a new hatchery in Stadur in Grindavík. The estimated cost for the project is around EUR 6.6 million,” reported Baldvinsson.
Founded in 1983, Samherji is one of the largest companies in the Icelandic fish industry.