Bringing new fish to the plate may provide the next boost for salmon companies.
Norway has built a global market for its most famous food brand -- Norwegian salmon. Its producers sell about 65 billion ($8 billion) a year of the fish but now face several growth constraints, including biological issues such as sea lice and political demands for carrying the cost of farming.
The key to growth may be to look at other fish such as cod and haddock, something that could be on the increase over the next three to four years, according to Jann Molnes, a portfolio manager of Holberg Triton, a fund which invests only in seafood stocks.
Introducing other species offers a "huge potential" for companies such as Leroy Seafood Group ASA, he said in an interview in Oslo on Tuesday. "You increase the volume but you increase the margins fabulously."
Bergen-based Holberg Triton, which manages about 500 million kroner ($60 million), has returned 38 percent since it started in February 2015. Its biggest holdings include Leroy, Austevoll Seafood ASA, Vinh Hoan Corp. and Maruha Nichiro Corp.
Diversifying to other species is also a way for the producers to become less sensitive to volatile salmon prices. But also there the industry is becoming less dependent on the spot market, according to Molnes. "More and more is on contract," he said. "So there are more stable prices for the big producers while the smaller producers have much bigger swings exposed to the spot prices. It’s a continuous development of the market."
Bloomberg, 040618, Jonas Cho Walsgard.