Grieg Seafood has reported a 47% year-on-year decline in harvest volume to 12,245 tonnes in the third quarter of its financial year.
The company supplied nearly 2% of the global volume of Atlantic salmon harvested in the third quarter of 2023.
Grieg Seafood noted that its largest operations are in the regions of Rogaland and Finnmark in Norway.
Finnmark conducted an early harvest to prioritise fish welfare in response to the presence of the parasite Spironucleus Salmonicida (Spiro).
Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood ASA added, "During the third quarter, Grieg Seafood’s main priority was to let the fish grow and build biomass. As a result, harvest volumes were low, causing increased costs per kilo.
"The operational performance was impacted by a mixture of different biological challenges, including Spiro in Finnmark, harvesting at low weights due to previous ISA outbreaks in Rogaland and seasonal biological issues in British Columbia. Unfortunately, these events reduced our price achievement and earnings. [...] While it has been a tough quarter, a lot of good work has been done to get back in shape."
The company's cost per kilogram increased to NOK 73.1 during the quarter from NOK 66.6 in the same period last year.
Farming cost for the quarter amounted to NOK 77.5 per kilogram, up from NOK 59.4 per kilogram in the year-ago period.
Kvame added, "We are turning every stone in the regions to get back on track. Mitigating measures have been implemented, such as vaccination programs against ISA and winter ulcers, as well as a UV filter to prevent Spiro from entering our smolt facility.
"Due to the long production cycle of the salmon, it takes some time before we see the effect of the measures. I am encouraged that the underlying biology in Rogaland is good. In Finnmark, the generation of fish transferred to the ocean during 2023 has not been impacted by Spiro and is performing well."
Grieg Seafood expects a harvest volume of 76,000 tonnes for the full-year 2023, and 85,000 tonnes in 2024.
In the fourth quarter, the seafood firm has projected a harvest of 25,800.
It also plans to invest NOK 1.1 billion (€92 billion) in a 3,000-tonne post-smolt expansion project in Finnmark for improved biological control, fish health and welfare and sustainability.