OSLO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Marine Harvest, the world’s largest fish farmer, reported preliminary third-quarter operating profits slightly ahead of forecasts on Monday, even though output volumes lagged expectations.
Operating profit for the July-September period was 191 million euros ($225.51 million), the company said, beating the 189 million euros expected in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.
The output of farmed salmon rose to 95,500 tonnes in the third quarter from 78,500 tonnes in the previous quarter, but was firmly below the 101,000 tonnes Marine Harvest had aimed to produce.
Analysts had forecast output in a range of 98,000 tonnes to 102,000 tonnes. The company did not elaborate on the output miss.
Profits in the salmon industry can be volatile, depending heavily on cost control and on whether companies sell fish on long-term contracts or on the spot market.
Marine Harvest will report its full earnings for the quarter on Nov. 1. The company’s shares have gained 6 percent year-to-date. ($1 = 0.8470 euros) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)