Seafood group Marine Harvest today (27 August) posted what it called a “strong” second quarter, pointing to higher underlying EBIT despite a fall in profits on a reported basis.

The Norway-based group, which says it is the world’s largest producer of farmed salmon, booked “operational” EBIT of of NOK1.22bn for the three months to the end of June on the back of higher sales.

“The second quarter was a strong quarter for Marine Harvest, with record high profit and volume,” CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog said. 

The operational EBIT excluded items such as gains or losses from salmon derivatives, the fair value for the adjustment of biomass and restructuring costs.

On a reported basis, EBIT fell from NOK627m in the second quarter of 2013 to NOK210m. Marine Harvest cited a “significant reduction” in the fair value of biological assets due to lower market prices on salmon and less fish in the sea at the end of the quarter. It also pointed to a EUR20m fine from the European Commission in relation to its acquisition of Morpol.

Marine Harvest’s bottom line worsened, with a net loss of NOK142m recorded for the quarter, compared to NOK94m a year earlier.

Over the first half of the year, Marine Harvest’s operational EBIT was up but reported EBIT and net profit was lower.

Marine Harvest’s top line improved in both periods. Its operations revenue grew 32.3% to NOK6.56bn in the quarter, contributing to a 51.9% jump in the first half to NOK12.43bn.

Seafood products from Norway are affected by Russia’s ban on certain EU food lines. Marine Harvest’s salmon from Chile and the Faroe Islands is still allowed in and the company said it was “working to redirect our products in accordance with the new market regulations”.

Marine Harvest said Russia equated to 3% of the company’s exports in the second quarter. Moscow brought in the ban earlier this month.

Click here for the full statement from Marine Harvest.