Samherji Maintains Stable Operating Profit and Strong Financial Position

Samherji's operations in Fiskitangi in Akureyri.
Samherji's operations in Fiskitangi in Akureyri.

Samherji's operating profit amounted to EUR 54.5 million in 2023 and was nearly unchanged from the previous year. The profit from the operations of Samherji's group, after accounting for the performance of associates and financial items, amounted to EUR 58.7 million after taxes.

This is presented in Samherji's 2023 annual financial statements, which were submitted and approved at the company's annual general meeting on June 11.

Significant changes have been made to Samherji's balance sheet in recent years, and 2023 was the first full fiscal year during which the group's operations solely encompassed fishing, processing, fish farming, and sales of seafood products.

Key figures from the financial statements – salary payments amounted to EUR 63.5 million

Samherji‘s high-tech processing facility in DalvíkSamherji sold products for EUR 419 million in 2023, marking a 10% increase in product sales revenue from the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) totalled EUR 74.5 million, showing a 6.7% growth from the previous year. Income from associates amounted to approximately EUR 20 million. Income from associates decreased year-over-year due to income recognition in 2022, which resulted from changes in ownership interests in these companies that year.

Samherji's assets at the end of 2023 amounted to EUR 729 million, with equity totalling EUR 531.7 million. The equity ratio of the group at year-end was 72.9%, compared to 74% in 2022. The high equity ratio has been maintained in recent years, reflecting the company's strong financial position.

In 2023, the group employed an average of 722 full-time equivalents, compared to 686 in 2022. Total salary payments amounted to EUR 63.5 million.

Core operations more robust than the previous year

Overall, 2023 was a successful year for fishing, processing, aquaculture, and product sales. Samherji's core operations were stronger than the previous year, with increases in both revenue and earnings before depreciation and financial items. However, the actual decline in the company's profit year-over-year can be attributed partly to the effects of the company's restructuring in 2022 on its financial performance and partly to how the shares in Síldarvinnslan hf. (SVN) are accounted for.

The crew on Björgúlfur EA 312. The company's largest investment during the year involved expanding the land-based fish farming facility in Öxarfjördur, northeastern Iceland, through the subsidiary Samherji Fish Farming, which has more than two decades of experience in land-based aquaculture.

The investment for expanding the facility in Öxarfjördur amounted to EUR 27 million. The facility is expected to produce approximately three thousand tonnes of salmon annually. The knowledge and experience gained from operating this facility will be utilised in Samherji Fish Farming’s proposed land-based salmon farm in the Reykjanes Peninsula.

At Samherji's annual general meeting on June 11, the company's board renewed its mandate, and Ásta Dís Óladóttir, Baldvin Thorsteinsson, Dagný Linda Kristjánsdóttir, Kristján Vilhelmsson, and Óskar Magnússon were re-elected to the board. The general meeting decided to pay a dividend to shareholders amounting to 9% of the year's profit.

Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji:

"Samherji's operations performed well last year, and the company's finances are strong, as the annual financial statements clearly show. During the year, we faced various challenges, and the company's employees deserve praise for solving them with resourcefulness and diligence. Samherji sells almost all its products in foreign markets, where interest rates have spiked due to increased inflation. Wars have also had a major impact on international trade. In such situations, solid business relationships and strong sales networks prove their importance.

In response to reduced cod catch rates in recent years, we have increased emphasis on producing haddock and saithe products with good results.

Forces of nature reminded us of their power in the second half of the year when seismic activity began in Reykjanes, forcing the residents of the town of Grindavík to leave their homes. This sequence of events had direct and indirect effects on the operations of Samherji Fish Farming. We celebrated Samherji's 40th anniversary in its current form in 2023, and I can only be optimistic about the future."

Baldvin Thorsteinsson, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Samherji:

"At Samherji, we adhere to the methodology that innovation and investment are prerequisites for the company to meet customer demands and perform well in international competition. This is why we emphasise regularly renewing our fleet and equipment to enhance the company's competitiveness. The operating results of recent years demonstrate that this strategy has been very effective. However, our successful operations are primarily attributable to our dedicated employees, who have excelled in handling challenging tasks in fishing, processing, sales, and product delivery to our markets."

Below are the key figures from Samherji’s annual results for 2023. Figures are in millions of euros.


Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji, greets visitors during an open house event at the company's processing facility in Dalvík.