Aquaculture for all

Kingfish Company edges towards profitability

Marine fish Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) Land-based production systems +5 more

The Kingfish Company, which produces seriola in a RAS facility in the Netherlands, substantially reduced its loss per kilo in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year, according to its latest report.

Aerial view of an indoor fish farm.
The Kingfish Company has increased capacity in the Netherlands from 1,500 to 3,500 tonnes per year

It also has permission to build an 8,500-tonne capacity RAS facility in Jonesport, Maine. © The Kingfish Company

The land-based farmer’s operational EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) per kg improved by 82 percent to reach €-0.6 per kg (Q1 2023: €-3.1 per kg).

“The first-quarter financial results indicate a promising start to the year, with an increase in sales volume, and operational EBITDA closing in on break-even,” said chief executive Vincent Erenst, in their Q1 report.

“Our primary focus this year is on further development of sales and operations; we are expanding sales to both existing and new clients in Europe and North America, while simultaneously exploring new markets for our yellowtail kingfish. We will also work with our team on further improvement of operational efficiency," he added.

The report stated that biological performance continued to exceed expectations, with a biomass growth of 642 tonnes in the quarter, slightly higher than the 626 tonnes achieved in Q4 2023. Meanwhile, the standing biomass reached 1,043 tonnes.

The company stated: “As we have almost reached the maximum carrying capacity of our installations, we proactively manage growth. This explains the lower productivity of 0.57 kg per cubic metre per day (Q4 2023: 0.63 kg per cubic metre per day). New feed formulations, improved quality of the juveniles in combination with lower temperature, resulted in a reduction of the eFCR to 1.26, a significant improvement compared to 1.42 in Q4 2023.

“Revenue increased by 5 percent to €5.9 million, compared to €5.6 million in Q1 2023.

“This growth was primarily driven by increased sales to the retail sector, while growth in the horeca (hotels, restaurants, catering) sector will accelerate with the start of the summer season.

“Total volume sold reached 410 tonnes, up from 363 tonnes in Q1 2023. However, the average revenue per kilogram declined from €15.1 in Q1 2023 to €14.4, attributed to intensified promotional activities in retail. Despite facing increased price competition in the US frozen market, sales volumes in North America experienced significant growth, alongside positive performance in Italy, France and Spain.

“As we continued to ramp-up production and sales to fully utilise the Phase 2 capacity, the company made significant progress towards reaching profitability, with a 90% increase in gross margin per kg to €4.6 (Q1 2023: €2.4 per kg).”

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