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Image: Norcod / FIS

Norcod Financial report Q4 2023

Click on the flag for more information about Norway NORWAY
Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

Operational update

Strong operational performance has characterized the fourth quarter of the year. Norcod’s site Jamnungen on Frøya has been harvested on a weekly basis since end of Q3-23. The cod has been harvested at Norcod’s harvesting facility Kråkøy Slakteri. Moreover, the biological status for the harvested biomass proves biological advancements. Feed conversion ratio in the biomass that has been harvested during the quarter is 1.05, and 93% of the harvested volume holds superior quality.

Source: Norcod

As of year end 2023, Norcod’s biomass at sea totaled 7 817 tons. Based on official statistics, the Company holds 52% of the total biomass volume, reaffirming Norcod’s position as the major cod farmer. During the first twelve months of 2023, reported export volume according to officially reported statistics was 7 934 tons WFE.

In the same period, Norcod harvested appx. 6 155 tons WFE, confirming Norcod’s market share of appx. 71%.

Norcod’s main market during 2023 has been Central and Western Europe. During Q1-2024 Norcod  has been granted a new contract with an Asian customer at favorable market prices, and the company has an ambition to strengthen its market position in the Asian market during 2024.

Source: Norcod. Clic on the image to enlarge

In 2023, Norcod stands for appx. 71% of the total Norwegian export volume of harvested farm raised cod. The company’s ambition is to be the leading cod farmer globally, offering weekly, year-round deliveries of high quality fresh cod to attractive markets. The company is continuously working on the optimal strategies and initiatives to deliver on this ambition.

During 2023, biomass investments are more than doubled from previous years. The net growth during 2023 is 4 600 tonnes, amid heavy investments in biomass and a satisfactory feed conversion rate and stable and predictable mortality. Alongside biomass investments, the investments in Kråkøy Slakteri increases the predictability on harvest and market planning and secures efficiency gains. During December, a new processing line has been installed in Kråkøy, enabling a 60% increase in production capacity. The new processing line is fully operational from mid-December. Alongside biomass investments, the acquisition of Kråkøy is deemed instrumental in establishing the basis for future growth.

Source: Norcod. Clic on the image to enlarge

Market conditions

  • Strong quarter with high demand from our existing customers and markets where e.g. promotion activities supported the sales. Customers value price stability, high quality and stable supply – making it “easy” to plan for campaigns etc.
  • Farmed cod volumes in Q4 almost doubled year on year basis but without damaging the stability of the price point.
  • New markets: China launch event in December – promising market (ref press release)
  • Generally, we see many customers both smaller and larger players with the desire to secure their supply both short term and long term. Therefore, we still see a great potential to grow our presence in the market.
  • We see customers choosing Norcod over other alternatives like e.g. wild cod – simply underlining our success in delivering sustainable and premium quality cod to markets every week, right on time!
  • Feedback on quality has been phenomenal and yet again helping strengthen the relationship with valued customers and building the foundation for our future growth.
  • Norcod has positive expectations on the market outlook. In the short-term perspective, we know that customers are looking forward to having Norcod back permanently as especially the retailers keep appreciating having Norcod in their stores due to predictability on the supply side.
  • In the longer-term perspective, significant quota cuts for the Barents Sea cod expected from 2024 and beyond implies bottlenecks on the supply side of Atlantic Cod. We are also looking towards overseas markets such as US, Japan and China, which is still considered to hold great potential as for volume and price as they value the high quality and freshness of the farmed cod.
  • Both Norcod and our customers are having a common view. Farmed cod is a sustainable and viable alternative for the customers, securing year-round supply and helping reduce the pressure on the wild stocks positioning farmed cod as a reliable and sustainable future protein source

Source: Norcod. Clic on the image to enlarge

Outlook

Norcod has reached a point where it can supply cod year-round, clearly differentiating it from wild-caught cod, which is only available seasonally. With cod quotas to be further reduced the next years, macroeconomic trends indicate a declining supply of cod. The long-term outlook for the market seems strong, as supplydemand imbalance implies increased cod pricing. The commercial breakthrough with a new contract in China announced during Q1-24 proves the trend and the Norcod business case.

Source: Norcod. Clic on the image to enlarge

Norcod is continuously working to optimize feeding regime, production processes and utilization of production capacity. The next years to come, Norcod’s ambition is to increase production and harvest volume at a pace that is beneficial for the environment, our customers, and our shareholders. The production- and market plan for the foreseeable future implies an utterly build of biomass and a remaining working capital funding requirement due to higher expected operational and financing costs. Based on the company’s current capital structure, the company has during the fourth quarter identified an equity need to cover the company’s working capital need. Strengthening of the company’s working capital is contemplated financed through a private placement of new shares in the company of NOK 100 – NOK 150 million (USD 9.5 M - USD 14.25 M). The company’s main shareholders intend to subscribe in the Private Placement. ABG Sundal Collier has been engaged as financial advisor in relation to the contemplated Private Placement. The contemplated private placement is expected to take place during Q1.

"Our vision is clear, and we are standing firm on it. Farmed cod is a sustainable and viable alternative for the customers securing year-round supply and helping reduce the pressure on the wild stocks positioning farmed cod as a reliable and sustainable future protein source. The world is looking for pure and sustainable sources of food to serve increased human demand. The Norcod product clearly demonstrates its market potential and naturally fits in."

Source: Norcod 

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