Nordic seafood group Leroy Seafood has booked a drop in 2012 profit as the bottom line was dented by lower salmon prices, particularly in the first half.

The company said today (26 Debruary) that operating profit before fair value adjustments fell to NOK450m (US$78.8m), down from NOR1.21bn in 2011. Profit before tax and fair value slid to NOK380m, down from NOR1.18bn.

During the year, the company was hit by a NOK50m charge associated with the closure of a fish processing site. However, the steep decline in earnings was primarily attributed to lower salmon prices. “The average price of salmon and trout have been significantly lower in 2012 than in 2011. The price difference was greatest in the first half of 2012,” the firm revealed.

Sales during the 12 months dipped slightly, falling from NOK9.18bn in 2011 to NOK9.1nm in 2012. During the period, Learoy harvested 153,400 tonnes of salmon and trout, up from 136,700 tonnes in 2011.

Looking to the coming year, Leroy said it expects higher demand to enable it to “significantly” improve its performance in 2013