February 13, 2018 / 7:00 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Norway Royal Salmon Q4 EBIT misses forecast, 2017 dividend lags

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Feb 13 (Reuters) - Norway Royal Salmon Asa:

* Q4 operational EBIT NOK ‍95​ million (Reuters poll NOK 111 million) vs year-ago NOK 101 million

* Earnings “could have been significantly better” had it not been for outbreak of the ISA salmon disease, CEO Charles Hoestlund said while presenting the Q4 numbers

* CEO: “The extra costs amounted to NOK 55 million, but the overall loss (from ISA) was in the range of NOK 80 million to NOK 100 million”

* Expects 2018 harvest volume ‍42,500​ tonnes (Reuters poll 41,917) versus Jan guidance 42,500 tonnes

* ‍Biomass in sea is 26 per cent higher compared to end of same quarter last year​

* Proposes NOK ‍5.20​ per share in dividend for 2017 (Reuters poll NOK 7.89) vs NOK 9.50 for 2016

* ‍Interest-bearing debt increased by NOK 94 mln to NOK 633 mln after biomass increased by 3,869 tonnes​

* ‍Return on capital employed for last four quarters is 40 per cent

* Expects global harvest volumes to decrease from the fourth quarter 2017 level compared with the same period the year before.

* “We expect a 6 pct increase in global harvest volumes in 2018. We expect 8 pct growth in H1 2018 and 5 pct in H2 2018”

* Company adds that consultants Kontali Analyse have also forecast a growth in global harvest volume for 2018 of 6 per cent. Supply growth for 2018 is expected to increase to a level corresponding to historical demand growth

* Says together with good demand for salmon, this provides the basis for a continued positive market outlook for the industry​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord and Joachim Dagenborg, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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