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The seafood pioneer
History
The Lerøy Seafood Group can trace its operations back to the end of the 19th century, when the fisherman-farmer Ole Mikkel Lerøen started selling live fish in Bergen's fish market.

The fish was hauled to market in corfs behind Ole Mikkel Lerøen’s rowing boat from the island of Lerøy to the fish market in Bergen, a journey that could take between six and twelve hours, depending on prevailing winds and currents.

Over time, Ole Mikkel Lerøen’s operations gradually came to include retail sales in Bergen, the sale of live shellfish and a budding export business. In 1939, two of his employees, Hallvard Lerøy sr. and Elias Fjeldstad, established a wholesaler and seafood export company – Hallvard Lerøy AS. In time, the company invested in a facility where they could receive pelagic and white fish and carry out fish farming. Poor results and insufficient capitalisation in the late 1980s and early 1990s forced the company to close down its facility for receipt of fish and sell its shareholdings at that time in fish farming in order to safeguard their core operation: wholesale and exports. In 1994, the company carried out a last emergency share issue and started the process of re-establishing a healthy business. At that time, the company's equity was valued at NOK 20 million, prior to an issue worth NOK 5 million.

 

Amended strategy

The potential for growth within fish farming in combination with increasing customer requirements necessitated a radical change in the Group's business concept and strategy. The new strategy was extremely capital intensive. Up to 1997, the Group had been a family-owned operation. In 1997, a private placing with financial investors was carried out for the first time. The purpose of the placing was to develop the Group throughout the entire value chain, and participate in the future consolidation of the fish farming industry. The initial step of what was to become a number of major investments within fish farming occurred in 1999, when the company acquired a minority interest in what was then Hydrotech- Gruppen AS. In the summer of 2001, Norskott Havbruk AS was founded with the sole purpose of acquiring Golden Sea Products, now Scottish Sea Farms Ltd. in the UK.

 

Access to capital and expertise

The Group was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in June 2002, providing access to the capital market for the Group and thereby strategic financial room to manoeuvre. Sufficient access to capital and expertise have been critical factors in the development of the Group from a wholesaler/seafood exporter to the current global and fully integrated seafood corporation.

At the turn of the new millennium, large parts of the fish farming industry were seriously undercapitalised and suffering from the impact of a short-term perspective and a lack of risk management. This was not compatible with the requirements placed on enterprises in the fish farming industry at that time. Lerøy Seafood Group had achieved a more solid position by August 2003, when they purchased Nye Midnor AS as it was then called – the company that currently makes up the main share of Lerøy Midt AS. The Group went on to acquire Lerøy Aurora AS in 2005, Fossen AS and the remaining shares in Hydrotech-Gruppen AS in 2006, Lerøy Vest in 2007 via a business combination and a majority shareholding in Sjøtroll Havbruk AS in 2010. The acquisition and demerger of Villa Organic were conducted in 2014. The above-mentioned companies along with a number of minor acquisitions have, together with highly skilled local management, been developed via organic growth to form what is now one of the world's largest producers of Atlantic salmon and trout.

Over time the Group has made substantial investments within the Processing segment (VAP). These investments in VAP (value-added processing) not only generate a wider product range and open the door to new markets, but also provide more room for manoeuvre in relation to the sale of own-produced salmon and trout.

Lerøy Seafood Group is now a fully integrated company with control of the whole valuechain through most everything of seafood products from sea to consumer.
In the 1960s, fish were transported in wooden boxes down the Norwegian coast onboard the Hurtigruten ships. The boxes, weighing 51 kg, were unloaded and wheeled in to the “isa-skuret” or ice shed on Skolten quay in Bergen, covered in fresh ice, then re-loaded for transport to Europe. Both Oddmund Skotnes and Hermann Hansen worked for Lerøy.

The Group made their ambitions clear in 2002 with the investment in fish-smoking capacity in Sweden (Lerøy Smøgen).

In 2005, they went on to invest in a processing facility for white fish in Bulandet (Bulandet Fiskeindustri) in order to further expand their product range. In 2006, the Group expanded its high-value processing plant for trout and salmon on the island of Osterøy (Lerøy Fossen). The Group's acquisition of 50.1% of the shares in the Dutch seafood company Rode Beheer BV Group took place in 2012. The remaining 49.9% was acquired in 2016. The Group has subsequently gone on to expand capacity at all its existing plants. In April 2017, the Group started building Lerøy Seafood Center in Urk in the Netherlands, a factory focusing on automation, quality and food safety and producing smoked and freshly packaged products. This will be the most modern factory in Europe and will have the most innovative technological systems. The framework conditions for industrial development in Norway are increasingly unsatisfactory, however resulting in a trend whereby production is outsourced from Norway to countries with low production costs.

Despite this trend, Lerøy Seafood Group has invested heavily in Norway.

 

Reaching new markets

The Group's ambition to increase demand for seafood in the form of new products for new markets has constantly been the driving force behind the Group's investments in the Sales & Distribution segment. This segment not only sells its own production of salmon and trout, but also has a high level of sales activity in cooperation with third parties, ensuring a wide product range for the Group within seafood. In recent years, the Group has also made significant investments in processing facilities, in order to take part in leading the “revolution” within the distribution of fresh seafood. These investments have been made in what is known as “fish-cuts”, processing facilities where proximity to the customer is key. The distribution of fresh seafood requires quality throughout the entire organisation, flexibility, continuity in supply and a high level of service. Today, the Group has a number of fish-cuts throughout Europe, and Leroy Processing Spain can report an exciting development within ready meals and sushi. In addition to the company’s factory in Madrid, the Group completed a new factory in Barcelona in 2017 and a second new factory in Valencia. In February 2018 the new factory in Valencia opened and by the end of 2018 the factory in Alycante were finished. The Group currently sells seafood to more than 70 markets worldwide.

Nordtind, an offshore trawler, was handed over from the shipyard in January 2018. Havfisk AS, primarily involved in catches of white fish, now has nine trawlers in operation. Together with Lerøy Norway Seafoods AS, these two companies make up the Wild Catch and Whitefish segment.

With the development of the VAP and Sales & Distribution segments, an increasing overlap in operations emerged. The Group therefore decided to report both these operations as one segment from 2017: VAPS&D.

 

Innovator within seafood

Ever since its very foundation, the Group has taken a pioneering role within a number of areas in the Norwegian, and subsequently international, seafood industry. The main focus has always been on developing the markets for seafood. The Group has very frequently been the first to launch on new markets, or to commercialise new species of fish. One of the main goals for the Group is to be an innovator within seafood, and preferably in cooperation with the end customer. This is important not only within product development, but also in other areas such as the development of efficient logistics and distribution. This pioneering spirit is still very much alive in the Group.

2017 will go down as one of the most important years in the company's long history. With the acquisition of 100% of the shares in the trawler operator Havfisk ASA and 100% of the shares in Norway Seafoods AS (now renamed Lerøy Norway Seafoods AS) in the autumn of 2016, the Group has embarked on a new and exciting journey, resulting in the integration of whitefish into the Group's well-established value chain in 2017. Further progress was made in this segment throughout 2018. Lerøy Seafood Group is now a fully integrated company, having achieved control of the entire value chain for a full range of seafood – from the sea to the consumer. 

At the start of 2019, the seafood corporation Lerøy Seafood Group has a unique position for further growth and development. 

Important events
Read about our important, strategic events from 1999 and up until today.
2018
  • Stern trawler Nordtind handed over from Vard Søviknes to Havfisk ASA
  • Production started at new factory on Jøsnøya island, Hitra (Farming)
  • Leroy Processing Spain: New facilities opened in Valencia, Barcelona and Alicante
  • Reconstruction in Stamsund to increase production of ready-to-eat products (wild fish)
2017
  • Kjærelva, Fitjar (Farming): Construction start new production plant
  • Leroy Processing Spain: New facilities opened in Barcelona and Valencia(VAPS&D)
  • Rode VAPS&D: Construction start new industrial building in Urk, the Netherlands
  • Construction of new factory at Jøsnøya Island, Hitra (Farming)
2016
  • Capital supply
  • Acquisitions of 100% of the shares in Hav sk ASA (trawling operator) and Norway Seafoods Group AS (processing, sale and distribution of white fish)
  • Rode Beheer BV: Acquisition of the remaining 49.9% of the shares
2015
  • Seistar Holding AS (shipping company involved in well boats): Acquisition of 50% of the shares in Seistar Holding AS
  • Lerøy Turkey (fish-cut): Shareholding increa- sed from 50% to 100% (former Alfarm Alarko Lerøy)
  • Norsk Oppdrettsservice AS (cleaner fish): Shareholding increa- sed from 34% to 51%
  • Senja Akvakultursenter AS (cleaner fish): Acquisition of 100% of the shares
2014
  • Villa Organic AS (Farming): Acquisition of 49,4 % of the shares
  • Fish-cut investment: Investments in new facilities in Norway, France, Spain and Denmark
  •  Villa Organic AS (farming): Demerged and Lerøy Aurora acquires eight new fish production licenses
2012
  • Rode Beheer BV (VAPS&D): Shareholding increased to 50.1% in the Dutch seafood group
2010
  • Sjøtroll Havbruk AS (Farming): Acquisition of 50.71% of the shares
2009
  • Austevoll Seafood ASA reduces its ownership of LSG from 74.93% to 63.73%
2008
  • Austevoll Seafood ASA increases its ownership of LSG from 33.34% to 74.93%
2007
  • Lerøy Vest (Farming): Acquisition of 100% of the shares via a busi- ness combination
  • Capital supply
2006
  • Lerøy Hydrotech AS (Far- ming): Acquisition of 100% of the shares (currently consolidated in Lerøy Midt AS)
  • Capital supply
  • Lerøy Fossen AS (Farming & VAPS&D): Acquisition of 100% of the shares
  • Investment in whole salers (VAPS&D): Investments resulting in nationwide distribution of fresh fish
2005
  • Bulandet Fiskeindustri AS (VAPS&D): Corporate relationship established with acquisition of more than 50% of the shares.
  • Lerøy Alfheim (VAPS&D): Investment within wholesalers and distribution in Norway
  • Laksefjord AS (Farming): Acquisition of 100% of the shares
  • Lerøy Aurora AS (Farming): Acquisition of 100% of the shares
  • Capital supply
  • Alfarm Alarko Lerøy (Associate): Partnership with Alarko Holding in Turkey
2004
  • Lerøy Portugal (VAPS&D): Acquisition of 60% of shares (Portnor Lda)
2003
  • Capital supply
  • Lerøy Midnor AS (Farming): Acquisition of 100% of the shares (currently consolidated in Lerøy Midt AS)
2002
  • Lerøy Smøgen (VAPS&D): Investment in fish smoking company in Sweden
  • Listing on the Stock Exchange
  • Capital supply
2001
  • Lerøy Sverige (VAPS&D): Investment in distribution companies in Sweden
  • Scottish Sea Farms Ltd: Investment established via 50% shareholding in Norskott Havbruk AS
2000
  • Capital supply
1999
  • Lerøy Hydrotech (Farming): The Group’s first investment (associate) in salmon production
Lerøy in every kitchen
Vision and values
Lerøy Seafood Group has a strong focus on ensuring proper management of resources in the sea, allowing for growth for the seafood industry and the continuing supply of high-quality seafood in the future.
From sea and fjord to the table
The value chain
Lerøy is involved in every stage of the production of salmon and trout, catch, and processing of whitefish and shellfish. In other words, we are involved not only in catches and fish farming, but we also package and process fish at our plants and distribute thousands of different seafood products to shops, restaurants, canteens and hotels - in more than 70 countries worldwide.
One important element in Lerøy Seafood Group's strategy is to be a fully integrated spplier of the Group's key products, and the business is operated via a number of subsidiaries in Norway and abroad.
 
 
The group reports within three segments:
  • Farming
  • Wild Catch
  • VAP, sales and distribution

 

Farming

The Farming segment comprises the Group's activities involving production of salmon and trout and includes harvesting and an increasing volume of filleting. The Group's companies in this segment - Lerøy Aurora, Lerøy Midt and Lerøy Sjøtroll - represent a major employer along the Norwegian coastline and strive to be visible and active in all the regions in which they operate.

 

Wild catch

The Wild Catch segment comprises businesses acquired in 2016, when Lerøy Seafood Group became the sole oner of both Havfisk AS and Norway Seafoods Group AS. These are businesses with substantial operations in the catching and processing of whitefish in Norway. Havfisk currently has nine trawlers, while Lerøy Norway Seafoods runs factories in Berlevåg, Båtsfjord, Forsøl, Kjøllefjord, Melbu, Stamsund, Sørvær and Tromvik. Lerøy also has facilities in Bulandet and on Sommarøy island.

 

Vap, sales and distribution

Lerøy has a global reach within VAP, Sales and Distribution, and it works with sales, marketing, product development, distribution and simple processing of the Group's own raw materials, as well as a large volume of raw materials from partners and a network of suppliers. In this sement, Lerøy Seafood Group has wholesalers, factories and seafood centres in a number of different markets.

The VAP, sales and distribution segment is mainly involved in high-value processing of salmon and trout, but also other species. The segment's facilities are located on the island of Osterøy outside of Bergen, in Smøgen in Sweden, in the Netherlands and in Turkey. The segment's products are increasingly sold to the global market.

Priority tasks
Lerøy Seafood Group’s vision is to be the leading and most profitable global supplier of quality sustainable seafood. To achieve this, the company must continue to focus particularly on the following:

Alliances

Values are generated by businesses forming a network in the value chain. Businesses in the network have plenty of opportunities to focus on their own core activities and to capitalise on economies of scale and reduced risk. We must constantly improve the Group’s core operations including the development of long-term and committed alliances with both suppliers and customers. Over time, this will ensure a sufficient range of products and that our solutions are cost-efficient and adapted to the various markets and therefore also profitable.

 

Market orientation

Emphasising development in new and existing markets based on forward-looking solutions and alliances that will ensure profitability and increased market share. Being among the leading companies within product development to ensure customer satisfaction and thereby profitability.

 

Environment and quality

Maintaining a strong focus on positive attitudes towards quality and the environment among management and employees. Further development of processes and routines throughout the entire value chain from fisheries and fish farming, breeding to smolt, fish production, harvesting, processing, sale and distribution.

 

Risk management

Continuing to develop systems for identifying risks in order to avoid imbalances between commercial risks and the quest for profitability. The Group’s risk profile and its strategies for value generation must be reconciled with the Group’s available resources.

 

Know-how
Giving priority to the development of expertise and adaptability in all segments and at all levels. Profitable growth requires improved expertise in the fields of management, improved operations, development of incentive systems, financial management, exploitation of new technology, product and market knowledge and systematic marketing.

 

Strategic business development

For many years the Group has made significant acquisitions.Strategic business development is also of decisive importance for the continued development of the Group.

This will ensure the best possible utilisation of the Group’s resources in order to provide optimum value generation for the company’s shareholders, employees and major partners.

Key figures for corporate social responsibility
Ethics and social responsibility
Lerøy's main activities take place in Norway, but we trade with numerous countries worldwide. It is therefore important for us to ensure that all our activities comply with our set of values.

Lerøy Seafood Group is a corporation involved in global business and working relationships with suppliers and subcontractors worldwide.

In order to safeguard all our activities, we have prepared a set of values that apply to us and our partners in our daily work. Our ethical code of conduct has been reviewed by the Board of Directors and implemented in every Group company. The Group is responsible for ensuring the ethical code of conduct is put into practice, but each employee also bears an individual responsibility to follow the code of conduct when carrying out tasks for the Group. The company management is responsible for ensuring full practice of and compliance with the ethical code of conduct.

 

Key words for the contents of the ethical code of conduct:

  • Ethical requirements for suppliers and subcontractors
  • Requirements on regulation of working conditions for employees
  • The rights of the company’s employees, and employees of suppliers and subcontractors 
  • Factors relating to HSE
  • Forced labour/discrimination
  • Exploitation of resources and impact on local environment
  • Corruption
  • Notification of censurable conditions
  • Ethical guides for employees representing the company outside the workplace

Lerøy Seafood Group has an international working environment. A number of our employees are from other countries, and several of our companies have a multinational workforce. Some of our companies are located close to local refugee centres. By employing residents at such centres, we make an important contribution to successful integration in the local community. A number of the people who live in such centres work at our facilities for short or longer periods of time. They contribute towards value creation and gain valuable experience of working life in Norway.

Companies in the Lerøy Seafood Group work closely with employee representatives. This is based on a close working relationship between local representatives and local management at each company. This cooperation is also very much evident at the core of the Group, where the corporate management and a working committee representing the majority of trade unionists exchange information and discuss shared challenges and opportunities, both at regular intervals and when required. If necessary, formal discussions and negotiations are conducted.

Lerøy has chosen to support various activities for children and young people locally, as well as larger regional and national sports organisations. To have a healthy and balanced diet is important for children and young people. We clearly see what positive effects seafood can contribute with through people´s diet. Therefore, we work actively with our collaborators to get seafood on the menu for children and young people through increased expertise and access to seafood at various sports and cultural events around the country. 

Ripple effect - support to local communities

Norwegian fisheries and the fish farming industry have been of great importance for Norway as a nation for past generations and will continue to be so in the future. The coast of Norway and its coastal communities would not be the same without fisheries and the fish farming industry.

What many do not realise however, is the importance of this industry for other municipalities in Norway. For every full-time equivalent within the fisheries and fish farming industry, 1.1 full-time equivalents are created in other industries nationwide. Local communities, previously facing the threat of rural depopulation, can now face the future with optimism. New jobs are being created not only in the fisheries and fish farming industry, but also in local and national businesses that supply products to our industry. Several municipalities are dependent upon the activity and jobs that are created and sustained with the help of the fisheries and fish farming industry. Local kindergartens and schools require teachers and personnel. New roads are built and new technology developed – to mention only a few major factors.

Lerøy Seafood Group reports according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This report can be downloaded from the company's website, www.lsg.no. As a corporation, Lerøy Seafood Group has decided to support various activities related to children and young people in local communities. Diet, health and healthy eating are important elements in our efforts to help children and young people, and are essential for young people if they want to achieve their goals. We are therefore always happy to see children and young people enjoying healthy seafood at different events.

Lerøy Seafood Group is fully committed to developing the local communities where the Group’s different facilities are located, and aims to generate increased earnings for these communities by purchasing local goods, equipment and services wherever possible. 

Lerøy Seafood Group's companies in Norway purchased goods, equipment and services totalling NOK 16.9 billion in 2018. The figures show that the Group purchased these goods, equipment and services from 300 different municipalities in Norway. In 2018, the Group had facilities located in close to 60 different Norwegian municipalities.

Our employees contributed NOK 525 million in income tax. Based on our activities over the past seven years, Lerøy Seafood Group has in total contributed to more than NOK 4 billion in tax. As such, we make an important contribution towards sustaining a number of local communities and workplaces in many different parts of Norway.

 

When measured in terms of value creation per full-time equivalent, the individual businesses made the following contributions in 2014*:

  • Fishing and catches NOK 1.082 million per full- time equivalent
  • Aquaculture NOK 2 663 million per full-time equivalent
  • Fish processing NOK 1.103 million per full-time equivalent

2018

  • Revenue: 19 837 637 (1,000 NOK)
  • Pre-tax profit: 4 448 961 (1,000 NOK)
  • Purchasing, excl. intragroup, in Norway: NOK 16,9 billion
  • Purchasing, incl. intragroup, in Norway: NOK 28,1 billion
  • Purchasing in Norway from 5,948 different suppliers
  • Purchasing from suppliers in Norway in 306 different municipalities
  • Tax payments by employees in Norway: More than 525 million NOK
  • Tax payments from the company: 839,5 million NOK
  • 4,589 full-time equivalents in Norway
  • Generates 5,507 full-time equivalents in other industries
  • NOK 1.340 million paid by the Group and its employees in Norway in taxes and duties
  • 1,295 places in nursing homes and 7,661 children in municipal kindergartens

UN sustainable development goals

The UN has adopted 17 global goals for sustainable development to transform the world over the next 15 years. The new goals for sustainable development encompass the environment, economy and social development all within the same context.

  • End extreme poverty
  • Eliminate social inequality
  • Combat climate change and its impacts

All the 193 UN nations have participated in compiling the goals. Lerøy has chosen to adopt some of these 17 goals. The goals we have selected are those most relevant to our processes, but we also have other goals that are closely associated with some of the other UN goals. Internal goals are established for these areas in our underlying companies.

Our brands
Success stories
Norwegian seafood is safe and delicious and has gained a high reputation worldwide – from the tiniest province in the Netherlands to the bustling cities of Japan.
Norwegian salmon available throughout Spain
2014 saw the launch of yet another seafood adventure when Lerøy became supplier to the major chain of supermarkets in Spain – Mercadona – with more than 1,600 supermarkets.

It all started with sales and distribution activities via the foundation of Lerøy Processing Spain, a company that has experienced considerable development and has opened a total of four factories in Spain in recent years. Fresh seafood has a very short shelf-life, so it is important to have processing plants located in several of Mercadona’s logistic areas.

Fresh fish in demand in all shops

After successful sales in Madrid, Lerøy opened a new factory in Barcelona, closely followed by Valencia and then the most recent plant in Alicante, which opened in 2018. Today, Lerøy has more than 250 employees in Spain and has daily deliveries of seafood to almost 1,000 supermarkets.

Norwegian salmon is also popular in southern Europe. Mercadona has a market share of 35-40% for salmon in Spain. The main goal is to deliver to every single Mercadona supermarket in the country, thereby supplying world-class sushi, salmon and other seafood products to even more people.

Locally produced food from Bulandet
Local produce from sea to plate.

It is rumoured that the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim was built using money earned from dried cod. And it is a safe claim to say that the trading city of Bergen is also founded on money from fish, and that fish has always been an important product for Norway. 

This remains true today, and Bulandet Fiskeindustri and its fish factory in Bulandet in the westernmost reaches of Sogn og Fjordane play an important role, particularly for the area’s 237 inhabitants. 

The factory has been in Bulandet since 1972, originally used as a herring and seaweed landing plant. Today, the premises house one of Norway’s most modern plants for processing fish. 

Norwegian food from Norway

The factory specialises in breading fish and making sure that quality is optimal in every part of the process. Only the best fillets are used, and the flavour of the breadcrumb has been developed by persons with extensive knowledge and years of experience. The factory also produces a number of other seafood products – more than 40 varieties in total – that are sold worldwide.

The employees take great pride in being able to produce seafood locally. Products in Norwegian shops bearing the Lerøy and Norway Seafood labels are in the main processed in Norway. This provides higher value creation in Norway, securing jobs and increasing contributions to both the local and national economy in Norway.

Recycling cages to make clothes and blankets
Have you ever looked at a fish farming cage and thought: “I could wear that or decorate my living room with it”? Probably not, but you might just change your mind when you read this!

In this age of sustainability, recycling is of increasing importance so that we leave behind the smallest possible eco-footprint. And what could be better than giving something you no longer use to someone who can create something new from it, for example old fish farming nets.

Innovative nylon

After use, our fish farm nets are handed over to Nofir, a company that collects discarded fishing tools from the fisheries and fish farming industry in Norway and Europe. In 2017, Lerøy delivered more than 635 tonnes of nets to be recycled into “econyl”, a nylon product made from waste. 

The goal is to reuse and recycle this material eternally, bringing new life to what is currently classed as waste.

So, if you are interested in style, smart innovation and a green lifestyle, you may be able to wear clothes and furnish your home with products that have a long history from Norwegian fish farming, years before they arrive in the shops as textiles or blankets.

Norwegian salmon preferred in Japan
Did you know that Japan did not use salmon for sushi until the mid-1980s? Today, it is difficult to imagine sushi without salmon.

In 1995, Lerøy's first charter plane took off from Norway for Japan, fully loaded with salmon. This was to be followed by thousands more flights. It did not take long before Norwegian salmon gained a status as one of the world's best ingredients among both Japanese and sushi chefs, and demand went through the roof. This was the very start of what was to become a specially developed salmon with ultimate flavour and quality: Aurora Salmon. 

One of four salmon from Lerøy

The product was specially developed in collaboration with long-term partners in Japan, and can only be produced in Lerøy Aurora’s localities in North Norway. The salmon grow in a unique area, swimming in clear Arctic seas bathed in the Northern Lights and midnight sun. A mere 36 hours after being caught, the salmon can be found on a plate of food in the bustling cities of Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya.

Today, 25 of every 100 salmon exported to the home of sushi come from Lerøy, and 16 of these are Aurora Salmon. The brand is popular with the country’s most highly recognised sushi chefs and has a reputation as a top-class raw ingredient.