Marine Harvest ASA – Annual report – 31 December 2017
NOTE 2 – SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES (extract)
Sale of fish products
Revenue for the Group derives from the sale of fish and elaborated fish products. Sales of fish and elaborated fish products are recognized when the significant risk and rewards of ownership of the goods have passed to the buyer, usually on delivery of the goods.
Changes in the estimated fair value of the biomass are recognized in profit or loss. The fair value adjustment is presented in the statement of comprehensive income as “Net fair value adjustment biomass”. The fair value adjustment consists of “fair value adjustment on biological assets”, “fair value adjustment on harvested fish” and “fair value on incident based mortality”, see Note 6. The fair value adjustment on biological assets represents the change in fair value of the biomass less the change in accumulated cost of production for the biomass. The fair value adjustment on harvested fish is the release from stock of the fair value adjustment related to the fish harvested in the period. The fair value adjustment on incident based mortality is the release from stock of the fair value adjustment related to the fish recognized as incident based mortality in the period. The accumulated cost of incident based mortality is included in “cost of materials” in the statement of comprehensive income.
For all financial instruments measured at amortized cost, interest income is recorded using the effective interest rate (EIR). EIR is the rate that exactly discounts the estimated future cash payments or receipts over the expected life of the financial instrument or a shorter period, where appropriate, to the net carrying amount of the financial asset or liability. Interest income is included in other financial items in the statement of comprehensive income.
Revenue is recognized when the Group’s right to receive the payment is established, which is generally when the dividend is approved.
Government grants are recognized where there is reasonable assurance that the grant will be received and where the Company will be in compliance with all conditions attached thereto. When the grant relates to an expense item, it is recognized as income on a systematic basis over the periods that the costs that it is intended to compensate are expensed. When the grant relates to an asset, it is deducted from the carrying amount of the asset. The grant is then recognized in profit or loss over the useful life of a depreciable asset by way of a reduced depreciation charge.
In the autumn of 2014, The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet) initiated an evaluation of certain aspects of the financial reporting prepared by fish farming companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The purpose of this process was to evaluate whether or not the industry companies reported in a uniform and consistent manner in accordance with IFRS. Finanstilsynet published a final report November 17, 2015 on their website (finanstilsynet.no). In response to Finanstilsynets evaluation process, affected fish farming companies established a financial reporting industry group, as an arena for discussions and improvement work. The group has had several meetings also in 2017. The main purpose of the group has been as follows:
- Identify possible improvements of disclosures as well as accounting practices to promote comparability, and
- Develop a common model for measurement of fair value of biomass according to IAS 41.
With respect to item 1 above, the participating companies identified certain areas of improvement, and certain updates to the fair value model and information included in disclosures were made with effect from December 31, 2015.
With respect to item 2 above, the participating companies have now agreed on the main principles for a common model for measurement of fair value of biomass according to IAS 41. The industry group plans to continue its discussions in 2018, with the aim to reach even further agreement regarding the different aspects of the common model.
The participating companies in the financial reporting industry group are Lerøy Seafood Group ASA, Grieg Seafood ASA, Salmar ASA, P/F Bakkafrost, NTS ASA, Cermaq Group AS, NRS ASA and Marine Harvest ASA.
Based on the work in the industry group, Marine Harvest has updated its model with effect on the 2017 financial statements. The refined model is based on a present value methodology, while the previous model was based on a growth methodology with proportionate allocation of expected net profit based on size of the fish and historical carried expenses added. The new model is a cash flow-based present value model, which does not rely on historical cost. Incoming cash flows are calculated as functions of estimated volume multiplied with estimated price at the estimated time of harvesting. Fish ready for harvest (mature fish), are valued at expected sales price with a deduction of cost related to harvest, transport etc. Sales costs are not deducted. For fish not ready for harvest (immature fish), cost to completion is also deducted. The new model uses an interpolation methodology where the known data points are the value of the fish when put to sea and when recognized as mature fish. Technically, the interpolation is calculated per location. The effect of this is that fish that have the same weight and quality are valued similarly. The interpolation model has a natural interpretation in the form of a present value calculation where an imputed rent of assets (i.e. theoretical license rent) per location is included as part of the rate of return. Thus, the value is to a lesser degree affected by the site because low production cost at a high quality site is offset by a higher imputed rent and vice versa. All surplus return in the future is assigned to the licenses through a similarly high imputed rent of assets, and where any shortage in return is recognized in profit and loss immediately. The interpolation model is updated every month, with best estimates for time of harvest, remaining months at sea, expected price at time of harvest and estimated residual cost to grow the fish to harvest weight. The methodology has the effect that any changes in price will have full effect on the biomass at hand, while the price effect on increased weight going forward will be allocated to the license and recognized over time as remaining time at sea decreases. An effect of this is that even with high salmon prices there is no profit at the time the fish is put to sea because all surplus return is assigned to future periods (licenses). Correspondingly the fair value of small fish is rather insensitive to price fluctuations.
An interpolation model as described works best if important variables such as pace of growth, mortality and feed conversion ratios are constant per unit of time or weight increase. Experience shows that in particular there is a deviation from an even development the first period in sea relating to increased value among other due to reduced risk after handling of the fish, vaccination and mortality related to the transfer to sea. This has been adjusted for.
Biological assets comprise eggs, juveniles, smolt and fish in the sea. Biological assets are, in accordance with IAS 41 and IFRS 13, measured at fair value less cost to sell. In line with IFRS 13, the highest and best use of the biological assets is applied for the valuation. In accordance with the principle for highest and best use, the financial reporting industry group considers that the fish have optimal harvest weight at 4 kg gutted. This corresponds to that a live weight of approximately 4.8 kg (there may be regional variances) or more are classified as mature fish, while fish that have still not achieved this weight are classified as immature fish. All fish at sea are subject to a fair value calculation, while broodstock and smolt are measured at cost less impairment losses. Cost is deemed a reasonable approximation for fair value for broodstock and smolt. Historically the market prices for eggs (broodstock are not traded) and smolt have not departed significantly from own production cost.
Transactions in live fish rarely take place, partly due to regulatory constraints, so the valuation of live fish under IAS 41 implies the establishment of an estimated fair value of the fish in a hypothetical market. The calculation of the estimated fair value is based on market prices for harvested fish and adjusted for estimated differences in accordance with IFRS 13. The prices are reduced for harvesting costs and freight costs to market, to arrive at a net value back to farm. The valuation reflects the expected quality grading and size distribution. The valuation is completed for each Business Unit and is based on the biomass in sea for each seawater site and the estimated market price in each market derived from the development in recent contracts as well as spot prices. Where reliable forward prices are available, those have been used. The change in estimated fair value is recognized in profit or loss based on measurement as of each period, and is classified separately. At harvest, the fair value adjustment is classified as fair value adjustment on harvested fish. In cases of incident based mortality, the fair value adjustment is classified as fair value adjustment on incident based mortality. Both are included in net fair value adjustment of biological assets in the statement of comprehensive income.
At each reporting date, management assesses if there are contracts in which the unavoidable costs of meeting the Group’s obligations under the contract exceed the economic benefits expected to be received in accordance with IAS 37. Fair value adjustment of biological assets is included in the unavoidable cost. This implies that the contract may be considered onerous even though the actual production cost of the products sold is lower than the contract price. Volumes used in the calculation is based on estimated remaining volumes for the contracts. Onerous contracts are classified as provisions in the statement of financial position.
NOTE 3 – ESTIMATES AND JUDGMENTS (extract)
Biological assets comprise eggs, juveniles, smolt and fish in the sea. These assets are measured at fair value less cost to sell, unless the fair value cannot be measured reliably. The estimation of the fair value relies on a series of uncertain assumptions, e.g., biomass volume, biomass quality, size distribution, market prices, expected future costs, remaining time to harvest and total time to harvest.
Marine Harvest measures all deviations in biomass volume compared to estimates when a site is harvested out. Except for situations where there has been an incident causing mass mortality, particularly early in the cycle, combined with an inability to count and weigh fish after the event in fear of further stressing the fish, volume deviations are normally minor. Similarly, excluding the effects of soft flesh and melanin, the quality of the fish can normally be estimated with a relatively high degree of accuracy. Categorization of quality is normally set per country based on averages, but can be set individually per site when needed. The size distribution shows some degree of variation but normally not to an extent that significantly changes the estimated value of the biomass (the value of two fish at five kg is very similar to the value of two fish weighing four and six kg, respectively).
The accumulated cost of the fish per kg will only deviate from the estimate if the volume is different from the estimate. For the estimation of future costs, there is uncertainty with regard to feed prices, other input costs and biological development. Marine Harvest measures cost deviations vs. budget as part of the follow up of Business Units. Excluding special situations (incidents etc.), the deviations in costs vs budgets are normally limited for a group of sites, although individual sites might show deviations. The estimation of costs influences the biomass value through the recognized fair value adjustment in the statements of comprehensive income and financial position (calculated as fair value less accumulated biological costs).
The key element in the estimation of fair value is the assumed market price. The assumed market price is the price that we expect to receive on the future date when the live fish is harvested. We derive these prices from a variety of sources, normally a combination of the prices achieved in the previous month and the contracts most recently entered into. For salmon of Norwegian and Faroese origin, quoted forward prices (Nasdaq) are used in the estimation, see Note 2. The use of third-party forward prices improves the reliability and comparability of the price estimation. For further information about biological asset values please see Note 6, Biological assets.
Prices used to calculate fair value in Norway, Scotland and the Faroe Islands are based on quoted forward prices (Nasdaq). Based on expected time of harvest per site, the corresponding forward price is used. For more information about the forward prices used, see Note 6.
NOTE 6 – BIOLOGICAL ASSETS
VALUATION OF BIOLOGICAL ASSETS
Biological assets are, in accordance with IAS 41, measured at fair value. All fish at sea are subject to a fair value calculation, while broodstock and smolt are measured at cost less impairment losses. Cost is deemed a reasonable approximation for fair value for broodstock and smolt as there is little biological transformation (IAS 41.24).
Biomass measured at fair value, is categorized at Level 3 in the fair value hierarchy, as the input is mostly unobservable. In line with IFRS 13, the highest and best use of the biological assets is applied for the valuation. In accordance with the principle for highest and best use, the financial reporting industry group considers that the fish have optimal harvest weight when they have a live weight corresponding to 4 kg gutted weight. This corresponds to a live weight of 4.8 kg (there may be regional variances). Fish of this weight or above are classified as ready for harvest (mature fish), while fish that have still not achieved this weight are classified as not ready for harvest (immature fish). The valuations are carried out at business unit level based on a common model and basis for assumptions established at group level. All assumptions are subject to monthly quality assurance and analysis at the group level.
The valuations are based on an income approach and takes into consideration unobservable input based on biomass in the sea, the estimated growth rate and cost to completion at site level. Mortality, quality of the fish going forward and market price are considered at business unit level. A special assessment is performed for sites with high/low performance due to disease or other deviating factors. The market prices are derived from observable market prices where available.
ASSUMPTIONS USED FOR DETERMINING FAIR VALUE OF LIVE FISH
The estimated fair value of the biomass will always be based on uncertain assumptions, even though the group has built substantial expertise in assessing these factors. Estimates are applied to the following factors; biomass volume, the quality of the biomass, size distribution, cost, mortality and market prices.
Biomass volume: The biomass volume is in itself an estimate based on the number of smolt released into the sea, the estimated growth from the time of stocking, estimated mortality based on observed mortality in the period, etc. There is normally little uncertainty with regard to biomass volume.
The level of uncertainty will, however, be higher if an incident has resulted in mass mortality, especially early in the cycle, or if the fish’s health status restricts handling. If the total biomass at sea was 1% higher than our estimates, this would result in an increase in value of EUR 1.9 million.
The quality of the biomass: The quality of the biomass can be difficult to assess prior to harvesting, if the reason for downgrading is related to muscle quality (e.g. the effect of Kudoa in Canada). In Norway downgraded fish is normally priced according to standard rates of deduction compared to a Superior quality fish. For fish classified as Ordinary grade, the standard rate of reduction is EUR 0.15 to EUR 0.20 per kg gutted weight. For fish classified as Production grade, the standard rate of reduction is EUR 0.5 to EUR 1.5 per kg gutted weight, depending on the reason for downgrading. In our fair value model for salmon of Norwegian origin, we have used EUR 0.20 and EUR 0.61 as deductions from Superior grade for Ordinary and Production grade quality respectively. In other countries the price deductions related to quality are not as standardized. The quality of harvested fish has been good in 2017. For the Group as a whole, 93% of the fish were graded as Superior quality. A 1% change from Production grade to Superior quality would result in a change in value of EUR 0.8 million.
The size distribution: Fish in sea grow at different rates, and even in a situation with good estimates for the average weight of the fish there can be a considerable spread in the quality and weight of the fish. The size distribution affects the price achieved for the fish, as each size category of fish is priced separately in the market. When estimating the biomass value, a normal size distribution is applied.
Cost: For the estimation of future costs, there is uncertainty with regard to feed prices, other input costs and biological development. Marine Harvest measures cost deviations vs. budget as part of the follow up of business units. Excluding special situations (incidents etc.), the deviations in costs vs budgets are normally limited for a group of sites, although individual sites might show deviations. The estimation of costs influences the biomass value through the recognized fair value adjustment in the statements of comprehensive income and financial position (calculated as fair value less accumulated biological costs).
Mortality: Normalized mortality will affect the fair value estimates both as a reduction of estimated harvesting volumes and because cost to completion includes cost incurred on fish that eventually will perish.
Market price: The market price assumption is very important for the valuation and even minor changes in the market price will result in significant changes in the valuation. The methodology used for establishing the market price is explained in Note 2. A EUR 0.1 increase in the market price would result in an increase in value of EUR 14.7 million.
The market price risk is reduced through fixed price/volume customer contracts and financial contracts, as well as our downstream integration as explained in Note 13.
See Note 2 regarding the work of the financial reporting industry group change in model for calculating the fair value of live fish.
WRITE-DOWN OF BIOMASS AND INCIDENT-BASED MORTALITY
Incident-based mortality is accounted for when a site either experiences elevated mortality over time or substantial mortality due to an incident at the farm (outbreak of disease, lack of oxygen etc). The cost of incident based mortality is included in “cost of materials” in the statement of comprehensive income, see Note 33. The fair value element is adjusted through fair value adjustment on incident based mortality, and included in net fair value adjustment in the statement of comprehensive income.
NOTE 13 – CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT (extract)
The Group is continuously monitoring liquidity and estimates expected liquidity development on the basis of budgets and monthly updated forecasts from the units. Marine Harvest’s financial position and development depend significantly on the spot price developments for salmon, and these prices have historically been volatile. As such Marine Harvest is exposed to movements in supply and demand for salmon. Marine Harvest has to some extent mitigated its exposure to spot prices by entering into bilateral fixed price/volume contracts with its’ customers. The contract share has normally varied between 20% and 50% of our sold volume, however hedged volumes can increase up to 65% under special circumstances, and the duration of the contracts has typically been three to eighteen months. Furthermore Marine Harvest is reducing the exposure to spot price movements through the value added processing activities and tailoring of products for its customers. Other key liquidity risks are fluctuations in production and harvest volumes, biological issues, and changes in the feed price, which is the most important individual factor on the cost side. Feed costs are correlated to the marine and agricultural commodity prices of the ingredients.
NOTE 33 – EXCEPTIONAL ITEMS
The 2017 financial statements contain several items that are considered exceptional relative to the normal business operations. The total effect of exceptional items included in operational EBIT was EUR 111.1 million for the year. Exceptional items are included in the line item Cost of materials in the consolidated statement of comprehensive income.
NOTE 19 – SECURED LIABILITIES AND GUARANTEES (extract)
[Note: the Strategy and Operational Approach and Risk and Risk Management sections of the Integrated Report contain considerable descriptions of risks, R&D, Sustainability, Environmental Responsibility and other matters relating to the principal business which have not been reproduced here]