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Marine Harvest Feels the Pinch

OSLO, NORWAY - Despite their claim to 'strong operational results' Marine Harvest have been negatively affected by recent currency woes.

Marine Harvest ASA achieved operational EBIT of MNOK 317 in the fourth quarter, compared to MNOK - 341 in the corresponding quarter last year. The Norwegian, Canadian and Scottish operations, all achieved improved operational results.

The biological situation for the industry in Chile was dramatically worsened during the quarter, with negative consequences also for Marine Harvest. Substantial negative currency and interest rate effects contributed to net financial items of MNOK - 1 224 in the quarter (-102).

"Persistent demand and improved prices in NOK lead to improved operational results for the main part of our business, with our Norwegian operations as the main profit contributor", says Marine Harvest.

"The biological situation for the industry in Chile saw a dramatic worsening in the fourth quarter. Accelerated harvesting, low sales volumes and low prices had a detrimental effect on our results in Chile. Although Marine Harvest Chiles relative share of new infections is falling steadily, the general development leads to a downward revision of our outlook for Chile in 2009, says se Aulie Michelet, chief executive officer of Marine Harvest. "

Marine Harvest reported operating revenues of MNOK 4 042 in the fourth quarter 2008 (3 664), with operational EBIT of MNOK 317 in the period (-341). EBIT was MNOK 268 in the fourth quarter (-15). Higher prices and currency effects explain the increase in operational revenues. A total volume of 89 706 tonnes HOG was sold in the fourth quarter 2008, compared to 100 084 tonnes HOG in the same quarter last year. Cash flow from operation improved to MNOK 36 in the fourth quarter 2008, compared to MNOK - 19 in the fourth quarter of 2007.

"Given the dramatic development in Chile, break even (Operational EBIT) in Chile in 2009 is no longer achievable and we have reduced our expected sales volume in Chile to 30 000 tons. Marine Harvest will be cautious with smolt stocking and investments in the short term, and will have a strong focus on improved operational performance.

"We find good reason to believe that the salmon industry, like the food industry, is less hit by the financial unrest than other industries. Given that Marine Harvest's financial exposure to Chile has reached a manageable level, and given continued improvements in operations, we expect an improved performance in 2009", says se Aulie Michelet for Marine Harvest.

the Fish Site Editor

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