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Important events in 2017
The construction and opening of new factories and production facilities and the acquisition of the whitefish companies, Havfisk and Norway Seafoods Group, are among the events that dominated the past year.

Integration of havfisk and Norway Seafoods GroupAfter the acquisition in 2016 of 100% of the shares in Havfisk and Norway Seafoods Group, 2017 was the year when whitefish was to be integrated into the Group's well-established value chain – an exciting and demanding process. Norway Seafoods changed its name to Lerøy Norway Seafoods, and a business combination was carried out between the two companies Norway Seafoods AS and Norway Seafoods Group AS. The organisation of Lerøy Norway Seafoods’ factories and the organisation of Havfisk were continued under the wild catch and whitefish segment, while the two companies’ sales and logistics functions were coordinated with the Group's sales and distribution department in Bergen.

With an integrated sales organisation, the Group has now taken an important step forward, and is set to gain an even stronger market position. The further development of existing and new markets for whitefish and improvements to logistics efficiency and synergy effects between redfish and whitefish represent significant opportunities for the Group going forwards. The Lerøy Group now has access to more than 20 percent of all cod from Norway. This affords the company a unique position, and Lerøy is now an unparalleled, fully integrated company with control of the entire value chain within both whitefish and redfish from fjord and sea to the consumer.

New production facility at KjærelvaIn May 2017, Lerøy Vest AS and Sjøtroll Havbruk AS started work on the construction of one of the world’s largest RAS facilities for young fish at Kjærelva in Fitjar municipality. On completion in 2019, the building will be one of the largest and most productive young fish facilities in the world. The facility will have 12 departments, two of which are hatchery departments and 10 are RAS departments for further growth. The production facility will have the most advanced filters for water purification both for input and output water and will have close to zero discharges of nutrient salts. When the facility reaches full production in 2020, the number of employees will increase from the current seven to 25 employees at full operation. The plan is to introduce roe in the second quarter of 2018 and to have the first delivery/release to the sea from the facility in 2019. Over time, the Group has accumulated positive and comprehensive experience of this type of technology, and the investment is expected to help reduce production costs for Lerøy Sjøtroll.

New factory on Jøsnøya islandIn Q4 2016, Lerøy started construction of a new factory on the island of Jøsnøya in Hitra municipality. Completion is scheduled for Q2 2018, and progress is on schedule to date. According to plans, the first fish will be harvested and processed in May 2018. The construction of this factory represents a significant investment that will boost the Group's initiative within processed products. The factory will have a high level of automation, and many of the former manual processes will now be performed by new technology. This new technology has been developed by means of a close and constructive cooperation with several key equipment suppliers. Capacity at the new Jøsnøya facility will be substantially greater than former capacity at the old plant. Capacity for fillet production will see a particular increase, allowing for greater flexibility and room for manoeuvre. As a result of the development, the company’s old slaughter plant on Dolmøya island will be closed in the second quarter of 2018.

Sushi production in Spain Lerøy Processing Spain, the Group's sales and distribution operation in Spain, currently operates a modern factory on the outskirts of Madrid and is a major producer of sushi. In April 2017, they opened a new factory in Barcelona and plan to open yet another factory in Valencia in February 2018. This factory will produce sushi and ready meals, such as Japanese dumplings. It will also have a separate gluten-free department for sushi. The new factory, with its 90 employees, is expected to produce between 16 to 18 million pieces of sushi in 2018. The factories in both Madrid and Barcelona were awarded “High Level” after evaluation by the International Food Standard (IFS) in 2017. This is a common standard and system used to quality-assure and select suppliers. It can be used by dealers to ensure proper food safety for the goods produced.

New factory in the NetherlandsIn April 2017, work started on the construction of a new industrial building for Rodé Vis. Rodé Vis has been part of Lerøy Seafood Group since 2012. The new factory is located in Urk in the Netherlands and is the fifth new facility for the company in the town. Food safety is a central factor at the new factory, as processing lines, cutting technology and packaging lines will be fully automated. Production processes are kept separate, and there is a minimum amount of manual work. Not only is the factory closer to the European market and located close to Schiphol airport, the largest airport in Europe, it is also close to the container terminals in Rotterdam and Antwerp, in total making Urk an ideal location as a European hub for logistics. The factory is scheduled for completion at the start of 2018.