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Marine Harvest Reports Improved Performance

NORWAY - The Marine Harvest Group achieved an operational EBIT of NOK 276 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to NOK 963 million in the corresponding quarter of 2011. Operational cash flow was NOK 567 million in the quarter, resulting in improved financial flexibility. Marine Harvest expects a challenging market also in the second quarter of 2012.

Marine Harvest reported operational revenues and other income of NOK 3 846 million (NOK 3,942 million) in the first quarter of 2012. Harvest volumes increased by 29 per cent to 96,700 tons from 75,224 tons in the first quarter of 2011. Net earnings in the period were NOK 402 million (NOK 318 million).

"In a very demanding market we have improved our relative price achievement, maintained good cost control in our farming operations and strengthened our financial position. I am particularly satisfied with our efforts to expand the market for Atlantic salmon and with the performance in Marine Harvest Scotland. The results from Marine Harvest VAP Europe were disappointing and underlines the need for significant improvements," comments CEO of Marine Harvest ASA, Alf-Helge Aarskog.

Cash flow from operations amounted to NOK 567 million (NOK 1,022 million) in the first quarter of 2012 after release of working capital of NOK 195 million. Net financial items amounted to NOK 81 million (NOK -162 million) and was positively impacted by realisation of long-term cash flow hedges and appreciation of NOK in the quarter. Net financial items include interest expenses of NOK 96 million (NOK 95 million). Net interest-bearing debt was reduced to NOK 5,936 million (NOK 6,467 million at end of the fourth quarter).

The equity ratio was 50.1 per cent at the end of the quarter (47.6 per cent at end of the fourth quarter). Annualised ROACE was six per cent (21.9 per cent) and NIBD/Equity was 53.8 per cent, compared to 59.6 per cent at the end of the fourth quarter.

Marine Harvest Norway achieved an operational EBIT per kilo of NOK 3.35 (13.56) in the first quarter, while Marine Harvest Scotland and Marine Harvest Canada reported operational EBIT per kilo was NOK 5.56 and NOK -0.02 respectively (12.89 and 9.28). Marine Harvest Chile achieved an operational EBIT per kg of NOK 2.20 (15.46). The numbers include contribution from Sales and Marketing, including VAP Europe.

Marine Harvest VAP Europe reported an operational EBIT margin of -0.6 per cent (0.6 per cent) in the first quarter of 2012.

Marine Harvest expects to harvest a volume of 380,000 tonnes in 2012, of which 95,000 tonnes is expected to be harvested in the second quarter.

"We have increased our estimates for global industry harvest volume in 2012 to 14 - 20 per cent. The markets have so far been able to absorb a record high volume growth. We are none the less expecting a challenging market the coming quarters and continue our efforts to expand the market for Atlantic salmon. In our farming units we maintain our strong focus on capital efficiency and cost measures to preserve our financial strength," says Alf-Helge Aarskog.

Lucy Towers

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