Marine Harvest, the world’s largest producer of farmed salmon, has reported a jump in first-quarter operating profit.

In a trading update, the company said yesterday (14 April) that its operational EBIT during the first quarter of 2011 was “approximately” NOK960m (US$177.6m). The figure compared to the NOK608m generated a year earlier.

The Norway-based firm also said its harvest volumes in the first quarter reached 76,000 tonnes, beating the company’s forecast of 73,000 tonnes that it made when it posted its 2010 annual results earlier this year.

A Marine Harvest spokesman declined to comment further ahead of the company’s first-quarter results, which are published on 11 May.