June 16, 2024
Finance

AKVA group ASA: Q4 2023 financial reporting


AKVA group ASA

AKVA group ASA

Acceptable activity level but challenging profitability.

AKVA group delivered revenue for Q4 of MNOK 800 (779), an increase of 3% compared to Q4 2022.

EBITDA increased from MNOK 27 in Q4 2022 to MNOK 41 in Q4 2023. Adjusted for MNOK 10 in costs related to the rightsizing process EBITDA was MNOK 51 in Q4 2023.

The rightsizing process, with estimated MNOK 45 in annual cost savings, was completed in Q4.

Order intake of MNOK 718 (889) in Q4 and order backlog of BNOK 2,4 at the end of December 2023.

The medium-term financial targets are revised and AKVA is aiming for revenue of minimum BNOK 3,6 and EBIT of 4-5% in 2024.

The activity in 2023 was at the same level as last year. Overall, the order intake was sound with the award of RAS contract for Nordic Aqua Partners (MEUR 40) and the post smolt contract for Cermaq Norway (minimum MEUR 60) as the largest contracts. However, the introduction of the resource tax has a negative impact on the activity level both in Land Based and parts of the Sea Based business. The market outlook for the post smolt market in Norway is still challenging and uncertain but is expected to normalize during the second half of 2024.

Profitability in 2023 is improved compared to last year but is still below expectations. The Land Based business segment is still impacted by a high cost base compared to current activity level and by lower profitability in parts of the project portfolio. The profitability in the Sea Based business segment is acceptable with a healthy product mix. A rightsizing process, with annual estimated cost savings of MNOK 45, was completed in Q4 2023. The costs related to the process was MNOK 10 and had a negative impact on the profitability in the quarter.

Sea Based Technology (SBT)
SBT revenue for Q4 2023 ended at MNOK 618 (592). EBITDA and EBIT for the segment in Q4 ended at MNOK 55 (50) and MNOK 17 (16), respectively. The related EBITDA and EBIT margins were 8.8% (8.4%) and 2.8% (2.7%), respectively.

Order intake in Q4 2023 was MNOK 679 compared to MNOK 823 in Q4 2022. Order backlog ended at MNOK 792 compared to MNOK 902 last year.

The Nordic region experienced an increase in revenue from MNOK 304 in Q4 2022 to MNOK 359 in Q4 2023.

In the Americas region, the revenue was MNOK 166, which is a decrease from 198 MNOK in the fourth quarter last year.

Europe and Middle East (EME) had a revenue of MNOK 92 in Q4 2023, compared to the revenue of MNOK 90 in the fourth quarter last year.

Land Based Technology (LBT)
Revenues for the fourth quarter were MNOK 142 (163). EBITDA and EBIT ended at MNOK -15 (-27) and MNOK -18 (-28), respectively. The related EBITDA and EBIT margins were -10.9% (-16.8%) and -12.6% (-17.5%). EBITDA and EBIT in Q4 2022 was significantly impacted by cost accruals for restructuring and cost saving programs.

Order intake in Q4 2023 of MNOK 0 compared to MNOK 34 in Q4 2022. Order backlog ended at MNOK 1,454, compared to MNOK 683 last year.

Digital (DI)
The revenue in the segment was MNOK 40 (24) in Q4 2023. EBITDA and EBIT ended at MNOK 2 (5) and MNOK -9 (-2), respectively. The related EBITDA and EBIT margins were 4.0% (19.7%) and -22.5% (-7.8%). The order intake was MNOK 40 (33) in the quarter.

Balance sheet
Working capital as a percentage of 12 months rolling revenue is 6.2% (6.0%). Cash and unused credit facilities amounted to MNOK 519 (731) at the end of Q4. Total assets and total equity amounted to MNOK 3,648 and MNOK 1,148 respectively, resulting in an equity ratio of 31.5% (32.0%) at the end of Q4 2023. A waiver from DNB was obtained in respect of the leverage ratio (NIBD/EBITDA covenant). The waiver is effective from 23 November 2023 to and including 30 September 2024 (waiver period). The EBITDA used for calculating the NIBD/EBITDA covenant is adjusted with MNOK 40. In the waiver period the leverage ratio shall not exceed 4,5 including the allowed adjustment to the leverage ratio set out above. The leverage ratio was 3,66 as of 31 December 2023 and AKVA was in compliance with all bank covenants.

Dividend
The Company’s main objective is to maximize the return on the investment made by its shareholders through both increased share prices and dividend payments. The company has decided not to pay any dividend.

Order Backlog
The order backlog at the end of Q4 was MNOK 2,396 (1,688). MNOK 1,454 or 61% of total order backlog at the end of Q4 relates to Land Based Technology (LBT).

Outlook
Salmon prices expected to remain strong driven by reduced supply.

AKVA expects to see a normalization of the post smolt market in Norway during the second half of 2024.

A rightsizing process was completed in Q4 2023, with estimated annual cost savings of MNOK 45, to adapt the organization to the current and expected activity level.

AKVA has revised the medium-term financial targets and is aiming for a revenue of minimum BNOK 3,6 and EBIT of 4-5% in 2024.

About AKVA group
AKVA group is a technology and service partner to the aquaculture industry worldwide. The company has 1 425 employees, offices in 11 countries and had a total turnover of NOK 3.4 billion in 2023. We are a public listed company operating in one of the world’s fastest growing industries and supply everything from single components to complete installations, both for sea farming and land based aquaculture. AKVA group is recognized as a pioneer and technology leader through more than 40 years.

Dated: 16 February 2024
AKVA group ASA

Web: www.akvagroup.com

CONTACTS:

Knut Nesse

Chief Executive Officer

Phone:

+47 51 77 85 00

Mobile:

+47 91 37 62 20

E-mail:

knesse@akvagroup.com

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 the Norwegian Securities Trading Act

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