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The seafood pioneer
History
The Lerøy Seafood Group can trace its opera- tions 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 very 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 develop- ment of the Group from a wholesaler/seafood 
 
At the turn of the new millennium, large parts of the fish farming industry were seriously under- capitalised 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.
This photograph was taken at Bontelabo in Bergen in 1964. From the left: Alfred Breivik, Ingvald Johannessen, Elias Fjeldstad and Dankeret B. Johannessen.

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. 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.

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.

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 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, completed in February 2018. The Group currently sells seafood to more than 70 markets worldwide.
 
With the development of the VAP and sales and distribution segments, an increasing overlap in operations emerged. The Group therefore decided to report both these operations as one segment from 2017: VAPS&D.
Kongsfjord, the offshore trawler, was handed over from the shipyard in January 2020. Lerøy Havfisk AS, primarily involved in catches of Whitefish, now has 10 trawlers in operation. Together with Lerøy Norway Seafoods AS, these two companies make up the Wild Catch and Whitefish segment.
In recent years, the Group has also made significant investments in processing facilities, in rder to take part in leading the “revolution” within the distribution of fresh seafood.

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 in 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 2020, 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.
2020
  • Stern trawler Kongsfjord handed over from Vard Søviknes to Havfisk ASA
2019
  • Production of processed fish and ready-to-eat products starts in Stamsund
  • Official opening of new, highly modern factory in Hitra (Farming)
  • First release from new, large RAS facility for production of large smolt in Kjærelva, Fitjar. (Farming)
  • Opening of young trout facility in Bjørsvik, Alver (Farming)
  • Construction start for extension of RAS facility in Belsvik, Heim for production of large smolt (Farming)
  • Start-up of construction stage 3 for the RAS facility in Laksefjord in Finnmark (Farming)
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 (VAP, sales and distribution)
  • Reconstruction in Stamsund to increase production of ready-to-eat products (Wild Catch)
2017
  • Integration of white- fish in the value chain (Wild Catch)
  • Kjærelva, Fitjar (Farming): Construction start new production plant
  • Leroy Processing Spain: New facilities opened in Barcelona and Valencia (VAP, sales and distribution)
  • 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 (VAP, sales and distribution)
  • Rode Beheer BV: Acquisition of the remaining 49.9% of the shares (VAP, sales and distribution)
  • Official opening of new smolt facility with RAS technology in Laksefjord in Finnmark (Farming)
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
  • Preline Fishfarming System AS (R&D): Owns 91% 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
2013
  • Villa Organic AS (farming): Acquisition of 49.4% of the shares (Farming)
  • Opening of world's largest RAS facility for smolt production in Belsvik. The facility, which produces up to 14 million fish every day, recycles more than 98% of water and is extremely energy-efficient
  • Extension of Lerøy Fossen's production localities in Hordaland and Lerøy Smøgen in Sweden (VAP, sales and distribution)
2012
  • Rode Beheer BV (VAP, sales and distribution): Shareholding increased to 50.1% in the Dutch seafood group
2011
  • Jokisen Evää OY (now Lerøy Finland): Acquisition of 68.0%
  • of the shares (VAP, sales and distribution)
  • Start-up of construction of new hatchery in Belsvik, Sør Trøndelag (Farming)
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 (Farming): Acquisition of 100% of the shares (currently consolidated in Lerøy Midt AS)
  • Capital supply
  • Lerøy Fossen AS (VAP, sales and distribution): Acquisition of 100% of the shares
  • Investment in whole salers (VAP, sales and distribution): Investments resulting in nationwide distribution of fresh fish
 
 
2005
  • Bulandet Fiskeindustri AS (VAP, sales and distribution): Corporate relationship established with acquisition of more than 50% of the shares.
  • Lerøy Alfheim (VAP, sales and distribution): 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 (VAP, sales and distribution): 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 (VAP, sales and distribution): Investment in fish smoking company in Sweden
  • Listing on the Stock Exchange
  • Capital supply
2001
  • Lerøy Sverige (VAP, sales and distribution): 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
One Lerøy
Values for the future
Lerøy can look back on several great years with impressive results, but we are constantly striving to do better.

As a fully-integrated seafood company, we gain unparalleled opportunities to drive the development of our value chain and product categories, in collaboration with key end customers worldwide.


The future development of our company will be determined by our ability to achieve continuous improvements, increased efficiency, innovation and development of sustainable solutions throughout the value chain.


We have to work hard to sustain the positive developments achieved in recent years – while constantly keeping our customers at the front of our minds, and relying on our values as strong foundations.


In 2017, we started the process of developing a continuous improvement programme specially designed for our Group – Lerøy Way. This was implemented after we had reported record-high results, and represents our principles guiding us how to improve together as one company – One Lerøy.

Unique alone - stronger together

By standardising, and working more closely as One Lerøy, the Group will better utilise strategies and opportunities across the organisation. This will lead to more efficient operations in the value chain, improve expertise sharing, increase long-term value creation and create a winning culture.

Vision for the group

We shall be the leading and most profitableglobal supplier of sustainable high-quality seafood.

 

Mission

Take action today – for a difference tomorrow

 

Vision, quality and sustainability

Safe, sustainable quality seafood

One Lerøy
Local roots, global perspective
Every day, 4 700 Lerøy employees contribute to the supply of Norwegian seafood equivalent to five million meals in more than 80 different countries.
Our main office is located in Bergen, but we have fishing vessels and fish farms in operation along the entire coast of Norway. Lerøy owns ten trawlers, the last of which, Kongsfjord, was delivered and put into operation in January 2020. Furthermore, Lerøy has processing facilities and receives regularly deliveries from its own trawlers and more than 600 fishing vessels.
 
These vessels make daily deliveries of whitefish to onshore stations, where the fish is processed and packaged, while well boats transport salmon and trout from our fish farms in North Norway, Central Norway and West Norway to sites for processing.
 
In addition to Lerøy's facilities for production and packaging in Norway, the Group have production and distribution in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.

The fisherman-farmer, who would row to the fish market in Bergen to sell live fish at the end of the 19th century, most probably had no concept of what he was starting – a commercial enterprise that 120 years later would be serving the entire world 1.8 billion seafood meals every year.

Today, Lerøy is a world leading seafood corporation, supplying thousands of different products to retailers, restaurants, canteens and hotels worldwide.
From sea and fjord to the table
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 80 different countries worldwide.
One important element in Lerøy Seafood Group’s strategy is to be a fully integrated supplier 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 owner 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 ten trawlers, while Lerøy Norway Seafoods runs factories in Berlevåg, Båtsfjord, Forsøl, Kjøllefjord, Melbu, Stamsund, Sørvær and Tromvik. Lerøy also had operations at Sommarøy in 2018. It has now been discontinued.
 

VAP, sales and distribution

 
Lerøy has a global reach within 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 segment, 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, Spain, France, and in Turkey. The segment's products are increasingly sold to the global market
Leroy Processing Spain produces and supplies large volumes of sushi and ready meals from the company's factories in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante and Barcelona.
Priority tasks
The Group's values – open, honest, responsible and creative – shall form the foundations for our daily operations, but also for the perpetual, strategic business development required to achieve the Group's vision of being the leading and most profitable global supplier of sustainable, quality seafood. The company shall therefore maintain a continued and special focus on the following areas:

1. Market orientation

Lerøy is a customer-oriented business and our success is contingent upon the success of our customers. We shall focus on growth on new and existing markets, based on forward-looking and innovative solutions and alliances that are sure to provide profitability and increased market share. The company shall play a leading role within product development in order to ensure customer satisfaction and, as a result, profitability.
 

2. Efficient and creative value chain – alliances

Values are created in value chains and in businesses in value chains that form a network and competitive processes for their customers. Lerøy aims to create the world’s most efficient and innovative value chain for seafood. This must be achieved by means of continuous improvements to processes and the Group's core operations, but also by further developing long-term, binding alliances with both
suppliers and customers.
 

3. Strategic business development

Historically, the Group has carried out major acquisitions, and strategic business development will remain a decisive factor for further development of the Group.
 

4. Environment and quality

For Lerøy, developments shall be based on a perspective of perpetuality. This requires a high focus on quality and sustainability among management and employees. By ensuring further development of processes and routines throughout the entire value chain from breeding to smolt, fish production, harvesting, processing, sale and distribution, we shall be able to guarantee sustainable operations.
 

5. Attractive employer

We shall be a leading player in a global industry in which the changes in framework conditions require flexible employees who are dynamic and willing to learn. We aim to attract, retain and develop our talented employees by offering formal and informal courses and training, and by encouraging an increase in internal mobility by allowing employees to explore in-house career opportunities.
 

6. Managerial role in Lerøy

Appointment to a managerial position at Lerøy is a declaration of trust and carries with it significant responsibilities. All managers shall represent the Group's values and act as positive ambassadors for Lerøy. We are confident that all our managers will lead the way as positive role models, complying with Lerøy's management standards, which are based on the Group's values: honest, open, responsible and creative.
 

7. Risk management

We shall continue to develop operating systems for identifying risks in order to avoid imbalances between commercial risks and the profitability requirement. The Group’s risk profile and its strategies for value creation shall be reconciled with the Group’s available resources.
 

8. Continuous improvements

We continue to develop by means of constant improvements to our processes and value chain. Our success will be determined by and made visible in our ability to create added value for our customers. Our results can be measured in relation to stability of operations and raw material supply, and in relation to financial, climate-related and environmental sustainability. We shall continue to focus on the right level of quality, high food safety, traceability and service. The pioneering spirit and innovations at Lerøy shall continue to develop.
Key figures for corporate social responsibility
Our brands
Success stories
In addition to having one of the most sustainable value chains for food production, Lerøy also contributes to reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean and to make it easier for consumers to eat both well tasting and healthy food on the go.
Providing a boost to plastic tidying
Lerøy is increasing its efforts to remove plastic from our oceans.

The volumes of plastic in our oceans have reached excessive levels. Lerøy aims to do something about it. Lerøy has been part of the beach cleaning week and day events organised by “Keep Norway Clean” for more than 10 years. Every year, for the beach cleaning week, Lerøy has raffled off more than NOK 100,000 in total to various associations and organisations who take part in the cleaning event. If we are to succeed in curbing the increase of plastic in the sea, we have to carry out cleaning operations more often than one week a year. In 2020, Lerøy is therefore extending its raffle competition to apply all year round, and not just during beach cleaning week.
As a result, all associations and clubs that organise activities for children and adolescents throughout the year can report for duty and carry out cleaning in their local area, to qualify for the draw for donations of NOK 10,000. Private individuals who want to participate but are not part of a team can be included in the draw for other prizes. Lerøy will also be providing equipment and containers for teams who need these.
By extending the beach cleaning week to the beach cleaning year, Lerøy hopes that even more people will take part in the fight against plastic waste.

Seaweed makes red meat more climate-friendly
The list of positive qualities of seaweed is growing.
There are numerous reasons why seaweed cultivation has been highlighted as one of the solutions for the future when combating climate change. Ocean Forest (a collaboration project between Lerøy and the environmental organisation Bellona), in collaboration with Danish businesses and the University of Copenhagen, has made several exciting discoveries. Cattle that have fermented seaweed in their feed have 50% lower methane emissions when compared with cattle that have traditional feed, normally comprising corn and beetroot.
Not only does the new feed reduce methane production, the studies also show a reduction in lacteal fever in cattle. Seaweed has proved beneficial for gut health in pigs and reduced the need for antibiotics.
 
Seaweed for the future
It is not only red meat that is more climate-friendly thanks to seaweed. Seaweed is an efficient tool in the capture of CO2, phosphorous and nitrogen, major components in the emissions from salmon and trout sea farms. By cultivating seaweed, large volumes of production emissions are captured, and the seaweed ensures a circular economy making aquaculture more sustainable. 
Seaweed is also a strong competitor for the title of the world's healthiest natural raw material. Ocean Forest is currently working on identifying new opportunities for these versatile underwater plants, and one of the ideas being explored is to use seaweed to produce bioplastic. 
In 2019, Lerøy's work with seaweed resulted in food products, with the launch of the Mær seaweed spice in Norwegian shops. The product has three varieties: Seaweed Salt, Seaweed Sea Salt and Seaweed Spice Mediterranean. 
Lerøy helping more people get involved in sports
While our top athletes rely on sponsors to pursue a full-time sports career, voluntary work in Norway to provide sporting activities for children and adolescents corresponds to a value of more than NOK 70 billion.
For many, sports for children and adolescents would not be possible without volunteers and sponsors. In general, Norway is the world-leading nation when it comes to participation in voluntary work. The efforts of volunteers correspond to 142,000 full-time equivalents and more than NOK 70 billion in value. Since 2016, Lerøy has donated between 850 and 1,000 Lerøy seafood kits every year to sports clubs and organisations nationwide. These seafood kits contain healthy food that can be sold at sporting events so the team can earn income.
 
For the more ambitious athletes, sponsors who believe in them are absolutely essential in their fight for the gold medal. Today, Lerøy sponsors a vast number of small and larger sports clubs and athletes, including the Norwegian Rowing Association, the national speed skating team, and Brann and Tromsø IL football clubs. Not only do such collaborations create sporting history, they can also contribute to a growth in cultural and commercial life, build networks across different spheres and make the cities where we live better places with arenas where all those who love sports can meet.

 

Investing in product developments for the consumer market
Sushi bowl, “Fisk ferdig” ready meals with fish, salmon on a wooden plank for summer barbecues and fish cakes from Lofoten. 2019 saw an increase in the availability of salmon and cod in Norwegian shops.
Whether the customers are looking for a quick and healthy option, a ready meal on the busiest days or a whole new flavour sensation, Lerøy shall be the obvious choice when they are shopping for food. Lerøy is increasing their efforts to encourage consumers to choose fish for everyday meals.
 
New products were launched during the winter cod season, including lightly breaded winter cod. This extremely popular fish, launched as a new variety and which quickly became a family favourite, is caught and produced in Norway. During the summer season, the wooden plank for BBQs was launched – Norwegian salmon on a wooden plank from Hardanger, ready to put on the BBQ. Grilled salmon with piri-piri seasoning and with Japanese flavours was a firm favourite in the summer of 2019, while the sushi bowl with mango and soy sauce was so popular that it will return in 2020.
 
While Lerøy has a long-term goal to reduce plastic use by 50%, it is also good to know that all the plastic used for our products can be recycled. The same applies to our aluminium trays, which can be reused multiple times before being deposited in the recycling container for metal and glass. As such, we can guarantee a focus on sustainability, from sea to plate, and even after you have enjoyed your meal.