Aker reports superb year as volumes soar

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Krill supplier Aker has reported it’s ‘best year yet’, with impressive sales growth for its Superba Krill and Qrill brands and good harvests thanks to favourable weather conditions.

The Norwegian firm has reported operating revenues of NOK 87m (around €11.22m at today’s exchange rates) for Q4, up from NOK 47m (€6.06m) in Q4 2009. The increase is attributed to growth for its two flagship brands. Operating profit (EBITDA) for the company – which is still in its development phase – was NOK -12m (-€1.55m), up from NOK -31m (-€3.99m) .

For the full year net profit was NOK 178m (€22.96m) compared to a loss of NOK 304m (€39.2m) in 2009, but the 2010 figure includes a NOK 393m (€50.68m) gain following the sale of a 50 per cent share in Trygg Pharma to US private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg.

Following this agreement, in November 2010 Trygg Pharma acquired fish oil producer Epax for NOK 561m (€72.3m).

Ambitious expand production at Epax’s facilities in Alesund, Norway, and grow production and sales of expositing Epax products – before developing new, patented and differentiated products.

Epax, for its part, reported revenues of NOK 356m (€45.91m) and EBITDA for the year of NOK 111m (€14.31).

Looking to Asia

Aker has also started to cast about for partners to help it tap the market potential for krill ingredients in the Asian market, and deal with regulatory matters. In Q4 2010 it established a marketing and sales organisation in Asia.

“Although sales volumes remain modest, the region is regarded as offering considerable potential for Superba Krill,”​ the company said.

Harvesting and production

In 2010 as a whole Aker sold 177 MT of its Superba Krill compared to 50MT in 2009. Prices remained stable.

Production of the feed product, Qrill, by the factory trawler Saga Sea was also significantly higher – at 13040 MT compared to 5715MT in 2009 – and the additional volume has been absorbed by market demand.

With the 2011 harvesting season already underway, Aker has an eye on future sustainability. The findings of an acoustic research study, conducted in cooperation with Norway’s Institute of Marine Research this month, will build understanding of populations of krill plankton in Antarctic waters.

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