The Annual Report for 2012 stated that the company's cash flow from operations was good, given the challenging market conditions, and amounted to NOK 1,553 million. The measures taken to protect the cash flow during 2011 and 2012 contributed significantly to the strong figure. Marine Harvest’s target for solidity is NIBD/equity below 0.5. At year- end 2012 the NIBD/equity ratio was 0.46.
Cost improvements were also made in farming during the year. Compared to 2011, the full cost per kg of a standard gutted and boxed fish was down for Norwegian, Chilean, Canadian and Faroese salmon. Salmon of Scottish and Irish origin were disadvantaged by the effects of Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD). Operational improvements contributed to the cost reductions.
In 2012, the Board decided to start transforming Marine Harvest from being a production driven farming company to become a fully integrated seafood protein producer, capturing the total value in the value chain. To achieve this position the Board sanctioned investments in a feed plant in Norway and the acquisition of Morpol, the world’s leading processor of salmon.
A 22 per cent increase in the global supply of salmon resulted in a significant decline in the spot prices compared to 2011. Prices in Europe declined less than in other markets, with a reduction of 10 per cent (NOS FCAOslo). Corresponding reductions in the US reference prices (Urner Barry Miami and Seattle) were 29 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
Marine Harvest also made good progress on key sustainability measures. In 2012, progress was reported in the key indicators for Profit, Planet, Product and People. In the Planet area, the number of fish escaped and the use of antibiotics was reduced significantly by 96 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.