2018 has been a remarkable year for Icelandic fishing and processing group Samherji, not least as this was the first full year that the company did not operate a freezer trawler in Iceland.
The company has its origins in freezing at sea and its success began with Akureyrin, a single trawler converted to filleting and freezing its catches.
‘The company started out with one freezer trawler and this has been a significant part of out operations, so this is a big change. Freezing pelagic fish at sea also came to an end last year with the sale of Vilhelm Thorsteinssson EA-11, which has been one of Iceland’s most successful fishing vessels,’ said managing director Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson as the company’s accounts for 2018 were presented.
‘Samherji’s composition has been simplified and this was the first year that Samherji has been concerned only with activity in Iceland and the Faroes. We have made some far-reaching changes to our activities, including getting to grips with changes in consumer habits and expectations. We have worked hard to maintain our position as one of the world’s leading fisheries companies. All this demands work and places demands on our staff. We have taken on the challenges of these changes and been successful. This doesn’t happen by itself and I am thankful for all this,’ he said.
Samherji’s revenues came to ISK43 billion, with an ISK8.7 billion profit. According to Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, Samherji is one of Iceland’s largest taxpayers and in 2018 the company and its staff contributed ISK4.70 billion to the state coffers.
‘We continue to invest in the company’s infrastructure. Útgerðarfélag Akureyringa’s new trawler was launched recently and gets the Harðbakur name. Work is in progress on the new fish processing plant in Dalvík and we aim to be able to start production in this magnificent high-tech building in the first quarter of 2020. Our new pelagic vessel, Vilhelm Thorsteinsson, is due to be delivered in the summer of 2020. There are exciting times ahead of us,’ Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson said.