Top Icelandic Fishing Companies’ Profits Rose 50% Skip to content

Top Icelandic Fishing Companies’ Profits Rose 50%

By Yelena

The profits of Iceland’s ten largest seafood companies grew by 50% in 2019 as compared to 2018, amounting to ISK 29 billion ($214 million/€180 million) last year. Viðskiptablaðið reports that at the same time fewer of the companies paid out dividends, and the total amount paid out decreased by 40%. Just two companies, Samherji and Brim, were responsible for around half of the total turnover and half of the profits of Iceland’s ten largest fishing companies in 2019.

Biggest Companies All Profited

The total turnover of the ten largest fishing companies in the country amounted to ISK 178 billion ($1.3 billion/€1.1 billion) in 2019 and increased by almost ISK 22 billion between years, or 14%. The companies’ total profit increased by more than 52% between years, from ISK 19 billion to ISK 29 billion. The performance of all ten companies improved between 2018 and 2019 and all companies turned a profit.

The total dividend payment of the ten fishing companies decreased by 40% between years, amounting to around ISK 3.7 billion ($27.3 million/€22.9 million) last year, down from around ISK 6.2 billion ($45.7 million/€38.4 million) in 2018. The number of companies that did not pay out dividends also tripled between years: from one in 2018 to three in 2019.

Two Companies Account for Half of Profits

Fishing companies Samherji and Brim (previously HB Grandi), are by far the largest of the ten. Samherji’s turnover amounted to ISK 50.5 billion ($373 million/€313 million) in 2019, which is almost 30% of the total turnover of the ten companies. Brims and Samherji’s turnover amounted to almost ISK 88 billion in 2019, which is half of the total turnover. The profit of the two companies was 47% of the total profit, or almost ISK 14 billion, and dividends paid were 68% of total dividends or about ISK 2.5 billion. Samherji is currently under investigation in Iceland, Norway, and Namibia due to tax evasion and alleged use of bribery to obtain fishing quota in Africa.

The ten largest companies were those who were allocated the most cod-equivalent tonnes for the 2020-2021 fishing year. Special allocations, such as shrimp and shellfish, were not included in the figures. Several of Iceland’s fishing companies have reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on their business.

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