Samherji's financial results for the year 2021: Good profit from operational earnings and sale of assets

The net profit from operations of Samherji hf. after taxes (without share in and profit from sale of associates) amounted to EUR 36,6 million in 2021 but was EUR 30 million in the previous year.

During the year, Samherji sold shares in Síldarvinnslan hf., an associated company, and the profit from the sale amounted to EUR 64,6 million.

Profit from the sale of associated companies and Samherji's share in the profit of associated companies other than Síldarvinnslan hf. totalled EUR 17 million.

The group's consolidated profit for 2021 was EUR 118.8 million compared to EUR 50.7 million in 2020.

This was disclosed at Samherji's Annual General Meeting, which was held in Dalvík on July 19, 2022. The financial statements for Samherji hf. for the year 2021 were presented and confirmed at the meeting.

Samherji hf. is engaged in fishing, fish processing, aquaculture, sales, and marketing activities in fisheries and other related operations.

In his address at the Annual General Meeting, Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, the CEO of Samherji, mentioned significant investment in aquaculture in the coming years, which will amount to EUR 400 million.

"We at Samherji have great faith in land-based fish farming, but all development in the sector is very costly. Therefore, the company must be financially strong now as before. The consolidated financial statements show that this is the case. The company's Annual General Meeting decided not to pay dividends and instead channel the company's investment capacity into new projects in the fish industry," said Baldvinsson.

Key figures

The group's operating income from sales totalled EUR 357.7 million in the year 2021, and with other revenue, the operating income totalled 377.5 million. Profit from the group's operations amounted to EUR 118.8 million compared with EUR 50.7 million in 2020.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were EUR 60.6 million, almost the same EBITDA result as the year before. During the year, shares in associated companies were sold, and the net profit from the sale amounted to EUR 36.3 million. The most significant part of that is the sale of a 12% stake in Síldarvinnslan hf. Share in the profit of associated companies also positively affected the year's earnings.

The number of man-years of the group during the year was 807, which is virtually unchanged from the previous year. Last year, the group's total salary payments amounted to EUR 70.1 million and increased by almost 10% between years. Last year, 31% of employees were women and 69% men. The proportion of women on the company's Board is 40% and men 60%. The group's assets at the end of the year amounted to EUR 868 million, and equity was EUR 639.3 million. The group's equity ratio at the end of the year was 73.6%, compared to 72% the year before, which underlines that the company's balance sheet is sound.

The financial statements of Samherji hf. are presented in euros.

Ambition and loyalty of employees

"We took on many challenges in 2021, as we do every year, but I must state that what stands out, as always, is the endless ambition, diligence and resourcefulness of Samherji's employees. That is what these good operating results are based on. I am grateful to our people for their contribution and unwavering loyalty to Samherji," says Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, CEO of Samherji.

"Of individual factors, the listing of Síldarvinnslan hf. on Nasdaq Iceland (Icelandic Stock Exchange) is important. We have been shareholders in Síldarvinnslan hf. since the turn of the century and are now reducing our share like other shareholders. This allowed the public to join the company, and they welcomed it, as about 6,500 new shareholders were immediately added to the group. Among the shareholders after the listing are also countless pension funds that look after the interests of tens of thousands of Icelanders. Thus, in a few days, a large part of the nation became active in an important industry. It is very gratifying and displays a lot of trust for those that have built the company."

Of other milestones, Baldvinsson mentions a new pelagic vessel, Vilhelm Thorsteinsson EA11, which was introduced to Samherji's fleet in April 2021. "Samherji has placed great emphasis on investing in new vessels, equipment and technology, both at sea and on land. The company's investments in this field totalled EUR 240 million in the last five years. We believe this will allow us to withstand international competition and create interesting and demanding jobs here in Iceland."

Significant investments in land-based fish farming

As previously disclosed, Samherji has begun preparations for a significant land-based fish farming site in Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland.

"Our subsidiary, Samherji fiskeldi ehf. (Samherji Fish farming) is now developing a new land-based fish farming site with a production capacity of up to 40 thousand tonnes of salmon. The farm will be located near the Reykjanes Geothermal Power Plant. The total investment in aquaculture is estimated at around EUR 400 million. The Board of Directors of Samherji hf. has decided to provide funding for the project's first phase in Reykjanes by increasing the share capital of Samherji fiskeldi hf. up to EUR 50 million.

Work is underway to expand the land-based farming site in Öxarfjördur. Breeding facilities and production will double, which will result in the site's capacity to produce up to three thousand tonnes annually. A new hatchery will also be built there.

The site in Öxarfjordur can be considered a "pilot project" for the development in Reykjanes. The investment in Öxarfjördur amounts to around EUR 26.6 million. Next fall, construction will begin for a new hatchery in Stadur in Grindavík. The estimated cost for the project is around EUR 6.6 million."

Rising oil prices

In his speech at the Annual General Meeting, Baldvinsson also mentioned challenges facing the operations.

"The cost of oil has skyrocketed, and oil is the second highest cost in the fishing industry after wages. How prices will develop in the future is entirely uncertain and will be affected by many external factors. For example, the oil costs for the vessel Vilhelm Thorsteinsson will increase by approximately two million euros annually."

Foreign operations currently under investigation

"As is well known and publicly documented, the operations of companies in Namibia that were affiliated with Samherji are currently under investigation. It is important to state that none of our employees have been charged. No extradition of any of them has been requested, and we are not involved in the criminal case proceedings against Namibians who have been imprisoned for two and half years without being sentenced. The investigation in Iceland has been going on for two and a half years without revealing anything that justifies attaching individual Samherji employees with the status of accused persons under the law.

Samherji has responded to this in various ways and will continue to defend the innocence of its employees, who I am certain will be cleared of these allegations. In this regard, I am pleased to emphasize that our business partners around the globe have remained loyal to us," said Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, the CEO of Samherji, in his address at the Annual General Meeting in Dalvík.

No dividends paid out to shareholders

The Annual General Meeting decided that no dividends for last year's profit will be paid to shareholders. This is the third consecutive year that no dividends are paid.

The meeting elected The Board of Directors of Samherji hf. for the next year. The following were elected to the Board:

Eiríkur S. Jóhannsson (chairman), Óskar Magnússon (vice-chairman), Kristján Vilhelmsson, Dagný Linda Kristjánsdóttir and Helga Steinunn Gudmundsdóttir.