Strong biological performance

Strong biological performance




The Bakkafrost Group delivered a total operational EBIT of DKK 710 million (DKK 565 million) in Q1 2024 and made a profit of DKK 401 million (DKK 467 million). 

(Figures in parenthesis refer to the same period last year unless otherwise specified)

The performance in Q1 2024 per region was very uneven:

  • Faroe Islands          Revenues of DKK 1,594 million (1,341 million)

                                         Operational EBIT of DKK 671 million (410 million)

  • Scotland                  Revenues of DKK 612 million (708 million)

                                         Operational EBIT of DKK 39 million (155 million)

Commenting on the result, CEO Regin Jacobsen said:

“We har satisfied with our strong results in the first quarter 2024 – especially in the Faroe Islands. Good biological performance in the Faroe Islands and improved biology in Scotland has enabled us to harvest large fish of superior quality and benefit from a salmon market marked with low availability superior quality and large fish. In Scotland the biology has been good at most sites, except for one site with fish previously weakened by a jellyfish encounter.

In our freshwater operation, performance and smolt quality is good in the Faroe Islands. At Applecross in Scotland, there have been some startup issues in this quarter in parts of the facility, that has not yet been finally commissioned by Bakkafrost. This impacts the ramp-up pace of the overall smolt release this year and the average weights which are is now expected to reach 200g in Q4. As we continue to follow our de-risking strategy in Scotland, we plan to harvest around three quarters of the 2024 volume in H1. The outlook for the salmon market is tight and supportive for continued strong salmon prices in Q2, especially large salmon of superior quality, which both the Faroe Islands and Scotland are able to provide.”



During Q1 2024, the FOF segment sourced 136,874 tonnes (156,015 tonnes) of raw material. The Operational EBIT margin was 24% (17%), and fish feed sales amounted to 27,046 tonnes (22,287 tonnes).


In Q1 2024, the Freshwater segments in the Faroe Islands and Scotland released a total of 3.7 million (3.8 million) smolts combined:

•    Freshwater FO: 2.1 million (2.1 million),

•    Freshwater SCT: 1.6 million (1.7 million).


The Freshwater FO segment made an operational EBIT per kg released smolt of 25.06 DKK/kg (27.63 DKK/kg), corresponding to 38.36 NOK/kg (40.75 NOK/kg).


The Freshwater SCT segment made an operational EBIT per kg released smolt of -178.98 DKK/kg (75.43 DKK/kg), corresponding to -274.00 NOK/kg (111.27 NOK/kg). In Q1 2024, the Freshwater SCT segment had incident-based cost of DKK 14 million (DKK 0 million).



The Farming segments achieved higher prices in Q1 2024 than in Q1 2023. Farming FO segment had higher volumes and Farming Scotland segment had lower harvest volume in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023. In Q1 2024, the Farming SCT segment had incident-based costs of DKK 18 million (DKK 0 million). In Q1 2024 there is also accrued costs on DKK 13 million which relate recovery of a barge lost in 2023 in Farming SCT.


The total combined harvest in Q1 2024 of the farming segments in the Faroe Islands and Scotland was 21,557 tonnes gutted weight (19,098 tgw):

•    Farming FO:        14,294 tgw (11,005 tgw),

•    Farming SCT:      7,263 tgw (8,093 tgw).


In Q1 2024, the Farming FO segment made an operational EBIT/kg of 33.03 DKK/kg (20.72 DKK/kg), corresponding to 50.56 NOK/kg (30.56 NOK/kg). The Farming SCT segment made an operational EBIT/kg of 3.35 DKK/kg (15.14 DKK/kg), corresponding to 5.13 NOK/kg (22.33 NOK/kg).


The Services segment made an operational EBIT/kg of 1.22 DKK/kg (0.44 DKK/kg), corresponding to 1.87 NOK/kg (0.66 NOK/kg). The operational EBIT margin for the segment was 10% (4%).



The Sales & Other segment had a revenue of DKK 2,850 million (2,494 million) and an operational EBIT margin of 0% (1%). The operational EBIT/kg was -0.11 DKK/kg (0.85 DKK/kg), corresponding to -0.16 NOK/kg (1.25 NOK/kg).


The performance related to the Faroe Islands and Scotland as a region can be found in the Appendix in the Q1 2024 Interim Report.


The long-term goal of the Board of Directors is that 30-50% of earnings per share shall be paid out as a dividend. Bakkafrost’s financial position is strong, with a solid balance sheet, a competitive operation, and available credit facilities. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that DKK 8.70 (NOK 13.26*) per share shall be paid out as a dividend. The Annual General Meeting will be convened on Tuesday, April 30th, 2024.


* The dividend per share in NOK is subject to changes depending on the exchange rate between NOK and DKK, which was announced on 24 April 2024.





Flat supply supported by inventories in Q1 2024

The supply of salmon increased slightly by 0.6% in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023, incl. inventory movements. Without inventory movements, the supply reduced 4.8%, according to the latest estimate from Kontali Analyse.


Salmon prices increased slightly in Q1 2024

Salmon spot prices (in EUR) were 0.5% higher this quarter compared to Q1 2023 with high price differentiation between large and small fish. Prices were affected by the tight supply, reduced availability of large fish on the spot market, but also by increased consumer price sensitivity in some segments.


1% growth in 2024

The global supply is expected to reduce 2% in H1 2024, compared to H1 2023. In H2 2024, the global supply is expected to grow around 3%, compared to H2 2023. For the full year 2024, the global supply is expected grow around 1%, excluding inventory movements.


Bakkafrost has a strong focus on ensuring a well-balanced flow to the different markets to increase diversification and mitigate market risk. Bakkafrost operates in the main salmon markets, Europe, the USA, and the Far East. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Bakkafrost has stopped all trading with Russia.



The biological performance Q1 2024 in the Faroese farming operation was strong. Bakkafrost started 2024 with a much bigger biomass than the year before, and has harvested big fish with high superior rates that allowed for high price achievements. Bakkafrost’s ability to do dual freshwater treatments has kept sea lice levels at record lows. Growth was also good in the quarter and the Faroese farming operation has a strong outlook, expecting to keep good harvest weights and high quality in the coming quarters.

In the Faroese freshwater operation, the main focus for Bakkafrost is to continue to increase the production volume of high-quality large smolt. In 2023, the hatchery capacity in the Faroes was increased by more than 50% through the expansions of the Norðtoftir, Glyvradal and Viðareiði hatcheries, increasing the total hatchery capacity in the Faroes to 18 million smolt of 500g. In Q1 2024, Bakkafrost started the construction of the new hatchery in Skálavík, Faroe IsIands, which will further increase the production capacity by around 7 million smolt at 500g. Once the Skálavík hatchery is complete in three years time, the annual smolt production capacity in the Faroe Islands will be 24 million smolts of 500g, as targeted in the 2024-2028 investment programme.

 In Q1 2024, the farming operation in Scotland followed the de-risking strategy, Bakkafrost developed on back of the emerging biological recovery in late Q3 2023. One key element of this strategy is to harvest around 70-75% of the planned total harvest volume for 2024 during Q1 and Q2, ahead of Q3 which tends to bring more biological challenges in Scotland. Preparations to execute the strategy were made in Q4 2023 during which Bakkafrost built up biomass and increased the size of fish in the water by improved biological control minimising harvest volumes. Consequently in Q1 2024, the biological performance in Scotland has been good, harvest volumes increased significantly and average harvest weights as well. Like in the Faroes, sea lice levels are all-time low and the superior rates high, leading to good price achievement. In Q2 2024, Bakkafrost continues to follow the de-risking strategy, targeting a lower biomass at risk for Q3. Consequently, Bakkfrost expects harvest weights to reduce in the second half of Q3, as some sites might be harvested out earlier than normal and ahead of Q3.

Bakkafrost’s de-risking strategy for the Scottish operation also covers the freshwater operation. In order to address the biological risks, Bakkafrost made strategic adjustments to its short-term production plans and conducted a comprehensive risk assessment for all farming sites, including evaluating the feasibility of stocking and farming these sites using various strains, hatcheries, and smolt sizes. Based on this evaluation, Bakkafrost will prioritise and advance the utilisation of large, high-quality smolt from the Applecross hatchery over external sources. Consequently, Applecross will supply nearly all of the required smolt to the marine sites in 2024, focusing on delivering a well-controlled increase of the production of large high-quality smolt. Only by exception will smolts be sourced externally, if the size and quality of the smolt is sufficiently high.

In 2024, Applecross is expected to supply around 8.0 million smolts. The average weight of the smolt is expected to increase during the year reaching 200g on average for Q4 2024. The average weight for the full year 2024 is expected to be around 165g. The smolt release and average weight from Applecross is lower than planned for 2024 due to start-up issues in parts of the AP4 facility, not yet fully commissioned by Bakkafrost. The smolt release from Applecross is expected to account for around 98% of the total planned smolt release for 2024.  When the Applecross 5 & 6 expansions are completed around year-end 2024, Applecross will be able to produce all smolts for Scotland at around 200-300g. As shown in the Faroe Islands, big and healthy smolt will face lower risks in the marine environment because of shorter production cycles in the sea and more robust salmon. In Q1 2024, the average weight of released smolt in Scotland was 121g, which is 9% higher than in Q1 2023.


Smolt release

Bakkafrost’s smolt release in the Faroe Islands is expected to be around 17.0 million large smolts in 2024. In Scotland, the smolt release in 2024 is expected to be around 8.2 million smolts with an average weight of 165g. The number and average weight of smolts released are key elements of predicting Bakkafrost’s future production.


Million smolt transferred





















Avg. weight (g)






















In the freshwater hatchery operation, Bakkafrost has a focus on ensuring stable growth and continuous improvements of smolt quality. In the Faroes Islands, it is important to harmonise the size and quality of the smolt as it leads to better utilisation of marine farming sites and increased harvest weights.

In 2024, Bakkafrost expects to harvest around 66,000 tonnes gutted weight in the Faroe Islands and 25,000 tonnes gutted weight in Scotland, giving a total of around 91,000 tonnes gutted weight. The quarterly harvest profile is outlined in in the table below. Biological, environmental and market conditions can affect the expected harvest profile.

Expected harvest profile as a % of total harvest pr. region:

















The estimates for harvest volumes and smolt releases in both geographies are dependent on biological development.



Sales & VAP (Value added products)

Bakkafrost's highly flexible value chain includes state-of-the-art VAP processing capacity, which enables the company to adapt effectively to rapidly changing market situations.


As a result of changes in the Faroese revenue tax, Bakkafrost has adjusted the strategy for contracted VAP (Value-Added Products) to reduce contract exposure for 2024. 


For 2024, Bakkafrost has signed contracts covering around 9% of the expected harvest volumes in the Faroe Islands and Scotland combined.



FOF (Fishmeal, oil and feed)

The outlook of fishmeal and fish oil production is dependent on the availability of raw materials.


The ICES 2024 recommendation for blue whiting is 1,530 thousand tonnes, which represents a 12.5% increase from the recommendation for 2023.


In 2024 Bakkafrost expects continued high production volumes of fishmeal and normalisation of fish oil production volumes.


The major markets for Havsbrún’s fish feed are the internal Faroese and Scottish Farming segments.




On the Capital Markets Day on 6 June 2023, Bakkafrost announced a 6.3bn DKK investment plan for 2024-2028. The investments will enable a transformation of the operation in Scotland and provide sustainable growth in the Faroe Islands as well as Scotland.

The main purpose of the investments in Scotland is to replicate Bakkafrost’s successful operation in the Faroe Islands. Bakkafrost considers building 2 large energy-efficient hatcheries in Scotland, enabling the implementation of Bakkafrost’s large smolt strategy and giving an annual production capacity above 15 million smolts at 500g. Having large smolt in Scotland will transform the performance, lower the biological risk and increase harvest volumes. In addition to building hatchery capacity, Bakkafrost plans to build a new processing plant to strengthen processing capabilities and increase flexibility in operation. Bakkafrost will also invest in more service vessel capacity to improve the mitigation of biological risk and improve the cost of operation. Further, Bakkafrost will make investments in marine site development.

The investments in the Faroe Islands include increasing annual hatchery production capacity to around 24 million smolts at 500g, cost-efficient repurposing of old hatcheries into broodstock operation, expansion of feed production capacity and growing sustainably by optimization of existing sites and new technology.

With the investment plan, Bakkafrost expects to sustainably grow the total annual harvest volumes to 165,000 tonnes in 2028. Over the same period, the total annual production capacity in Bakkafrost’s value chain will reach 200,000 tonnes gutted weight.



The global salmon product market's long-term balance is likely to favor Bakkafrost. Bakkafrost has a long value chain and a cost-efficient production of high-quality salmon products and will likely maintain financial flexibility going forward.

In March 2022, Bakkafrost secured a 700 mEUR sustainability-linked credit facility (expandable by 150 mEUR) with a 5-year term and 2-year extension options which have been executed. This facility, along with Bakkafrost's strong equity ratio, bolsters the Group's financial strength for organic growth and cost reduction in Scotland, while also facilitating M&A and future organic growth opportunities, and upholding an unchanged dividend policy.


Please find the Company’s Q1 2024 report and the Q1 2024 presentation enclosed.



·         Regin Jacobsen, CEO of P/F Bakkafrost: +298 235001 (mobile)

·         Høgni Dahl Jakobsen, CFO of P/F Bakkafrost: +298 235060 (mobile)


This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.


About Bakkafrost:

Bakkafrost is the largest salmon farmer in the Faroe Islands and the second-largest salmon farmer in Scotland. The Group is fully integrated from feed production to smolt, farming, VAP and sales. The Group has production of fishmeal, fish oil and salmon feed in the Faroe Islands and primary and secondary processing in the Faroe Islands, Scotland and Denmark. The Group operates sea farming and broodstock operations in both the Faroe Islands and Scotland. The Group has built a biogas plant in the Faroe Islands. The headquarter is located in the Faroe Islands, and the Group has sales and administration offices in Grimsby (UK), Edinburgh (Scotland), Boulogne-Sur-Mer (France), New Jersey (US) and Munkebo (DK). The Bakkafrost Group has 1,686 employees (full-time equivalents).



This press release does not constitute or form part of an offer or solicitation to purchase or subscribe for securities. The securities referred to herein may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration as provided in the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Copies of this announcement are not being made and may not be distributed or sent into the United States, Australia, Canada or Japan.

Press Contacts:
Regin Jacobsen CEO
+298 23 50 01