Bergen, 17 March 2020: Given the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Grieg Seafood Group ASA (the “Company” or “GSF” with OSE ticker: “GSF”) would like to provide an update on the impact on its business and organization. Grieg Seafood’s operations are currently, in light of the circumstances, running as normal.
Organization and employees
Grieg Seafood’s priority is the wellbeing of its employees, their families and the local communities where we operate, and the Company complies fully with the authorities’ recommendations in all locations.
The Company has implemented measures to limit contamination, with crises management teams operating in the head office and in each region. The regions have conducted local risk assessments and implemented measures accordingly, such as limiting contact between shifts, hygiene measures and home office where possible. Companies in our supply chain have also implemented measures to avoid contamination and keep operations running safely.
Grieg Seafood’s operations are currently running as normal, considering the circumstances. So far, the salmon is harvested according to plan, and we will work relentlessly to keep our harvesting schedule also in the coming time.
The demand for salmon is there in the markets, with significant decreased demand from hotel, restaurants and catering (horeca) and increased demand from retail. Per now, the flow of goods between countries on trucks remains relatively good. There are currently no border restrictions on food items, including salmon. Airfreight is a challenge and the industry is working hard to find alternative transportation solutions. With farming operations located in close proximity to both the European and the US market, Grieg Seafood’s dependence on cross-Atlantic distribution is limited.
As a food commodity, the continuous production and supply of salmon is encouraged. In Norway, the salmon farming industry is recognized as a “critical public function”, where upholding production is a governmental priority. The Company is maintaining a good dialogue with the authorities in Norway, the UK and Canada through industry organizations, discussing possible arrangements to safeguard salmon farming operations in various scenarios, such as flexibility on maximum allowed biomass (MAB) and fallow periods. On a broader scale, initiatives implemented by authorities to avoid contamination in the general population reduce the risk of supply chain disturbances.
Grieg Seafood has a solid financial position. At 31 December 2019, the Group had available cash and credit facilities of NOK 955 million. Net interest-bearing liabilities, excl. factoring and IFRS 16, were NOK 1.9 billion. NIBD/EBITDA was 1.4 and the Company had an equity ratio of 46%.
For 2020, Grieg Seafood has guided on a total harvest of 100 000 tonnes GWT with costs at or below industry average. The full medium- and long-term implications of the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain. However, based on the current situation, the Company will harvest according to the Q1 guiding of 16 800 tonnes, and the Company’s volume target for 2020 remains in place.
Capital Markets Day postponed
It is with regret that, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have to postpone our Capital Markets Day, which was planned for June 10. 2020. We will follow the COVID-19 developments and announce a new date at a later time.
For more information, contact:
Andreas Kvame, CEO, Grieg Seafood ASA
+47 90 77 14 41
Atle Harald Sandtorv, CFO, Grieg Seafood ASA
+47 90 84 52 52
Kristina Furnes, Global Communications Manager, Grieg Seafood ASA
+47 48 18 55 05