A €665 million year for fishing in Iceland

During the course of the last financial year, the five largest fishing and seafood processing companies in Iceland recorded a combined turnover of around €665 million (£465 million).

The largest company in the industry this year was Samherji hf, which reported a turnover of €271 million (£188 million). The company works mainly on the Humber in the UK and in Scotland.

Over the last five months, Samherji has been expanding its business, purchasing a trawler operator based in Iceland, Sjolaskip hf. As a result, the company has added six factory trawlers and two cargo vessels to its holdings and expanded its operations with a base in the Canary Islands.

HB Grandi is the industry’s second largest player although this year it sold the largest trawler in the entire fleet of Iceland to rival Samherji. HB Grandi owns several operations in Britain including the Onward Fishing Company in Aberdeen and Seagold and Ice Fresh Seafood on the Humber.

At the end of the last financial year, HB Grandi reported a turnover of €156 million (£112-million). Sildarvinnslan, which specialises in frozen capelin, herring and in processing fish meal and fish oil, reported a turnover of €104 million (£72-million).

Finally, Skinney-Thinganes, a local company with operations in Taiwan, managed to turn over €68 million (£47-million) last year while Vinnslustodin, which works in the Westmann Islands, turned over €66 million (£45.8-million).

Reduced cod quotas proved to be a problem for fishing companies this year, with several of them buying up cod stores from Russia in order to compensate. Despite this setback, the fishing industry still posted high turnovers.