THE value of the fish farming giant SalMar has doubled in the past 12 months, the Norwegian media are reporting.
The family owned company, whose motto is ‘passion for salmon’, is now worth more than 40 billion kroners (£3.6 billion sterling), twice what it was just a year ago.
Shares of the company, which owns 50 per cent of Scottish Sea Farms, recently reached their highest ever level on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
SalMar’s largest shareholding, of 53.4 per cent, is Kverva, which is mainly owned by Kvarv, the family company of entrepreneur Gustav Witzøe and his son Gustav Magnar Witzøe.
SalMar’s stock has risen by 83 per cent since January this year and more than doubled since March 2017.
The country’s media say that Gustav Witzøe junior, aged 25, has increased his personal fortune by five billion kroners (£455 million) in just five weeks this year.
Gustav Witzøe senior, who started the business in 1991, has also reportedly doubled his fortune and is now said to be worth 42 billion kroners (£1.9 billion).
Industry observers say the sharp rise in SalMar’s value is mainly down to rising salmon prices. Kjetil Lye, seafood analyst at Handelsbanken Capital Markets, told the news website Nettavisen that prices so far this year have been better than expected and should go even higher over the next few months.
Another analyst, Tore A. Tønseth of Sparebank Markets, said extremely cold sea temperatures had meant salmon had not grown as expected this winter, leading to a supply shortage and this was also helping to push up prices.
But SalMar’s bold fish farming strategy has also attracted attention. The company has announced a £135 million plan to build a second huge offshore platform, which could be twice the size of Ocean Farm 1, brought in from China last summer.
Picture: SalMar’s Ocean Farm 1