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Challenging period for New Zealand King Salmon. New Zealand King Salmon says the 2019 summer season was challenging for overall fish performance, due to sustained warm water temperatures which continued into April.

The full year mortality cost for the year ended 30 June 2019 (FY19) will now be materially higher than in FY18. Forecast fish harvest for FY19 is now expected to be around 7,900MT.

As a consequence. New Zealand King Salmon directors advise that expected FY19 operating EBITDA is likely to be at the lower end of the previously noted Guidance of between $25.0 million and $28.5 million.

A statement from the company says: “The challenging summer means that FY20 harvest volumes are likely to be in line with FY19, rather than around 8,700MT previously advised. Agri companies globally have identified climate change as a key ESG1 risk.”

The specific measures adopted by New Zealand King Salmon to mitigate this risk are:

  • Choosing to move to site single year class of fish across all farms as soon as possible (global best practice is regional ‘all in all out’ single year class), with fallowing between year classes. This will result in a significant reduction in previously forecast harvest volumes in the next few years, and an increase in capital expenditure requirements. More details will be provided as part of our year end results announcement in late August.
  • Intensified work with Government and the local community, to obtain approval for the critical Ministry for Primary Industry proposal covering relocation of low flow sites to higher flow areas.
  • Actioning the current strategy towards longer term open ocean farming.

Grant Rosewarne, Managing Director and CEO, said “We note that the Coalition Government is committed to addressing and mitigating the effects of climate change and strengthening biosecurity. New Zealand’s green rated salmon industry is an ideal candidate to demonstrate that commitment given the solutions are relatively simple, such as shifting existing salmon space to cooler deeper waters and enabling open ocean farming, together with best practice biosecurity protocols.

“We believe local councils, such as the Marlborough District Council, would respond positively to such leadership.”

John Ryder, Chairman of New Zealand King Salmon, said: “Although fish performance has not met our expectations during 2019 the company continues to meaningfully grow value within the available supply of salmon.”