(Corrects year in 4th para of Oct. 30 story to 2020 from 2010)
OSLO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Norway’s Mowi plans to increase its production by 4.7% in 2020, the world’s largest fish farming company said on Wednesday as it reported quarterly earnings slightly better than its earlier outlook.
The company’s third-quarter operating profit dropped 28.5% on-year to 148 million euros ($164.41 million), but slightly outperforming its forecast of 146 million euros.
Mowi raised its full-year growth forecast for the global salmon industry’s production to 6%-8% from a previous forecast of 4%-7%, and expects overall volumes to grow by at least 1%-6% next year.
The company maintained its plan to harvest 430,000 tonnes of salmon this year and has set a target of 450,000 tonnes for 2020.
There was a drop in salmon prices this year, while company costs surged amid a spike in fish mortality at its Canadian operation, triggered by rising seawater temperatures.
“The third quarter has been more challenging than normal for our farming organization,” Chief Executive Alf-Helge Aarskog said in a statement.
The company maintained a quarterly dividend of 2.6 Norwegian crowns ($0.2817) per share, unchanged from the second quarter.
$1 = 0.9002 euros $1 = 9.2311 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Victoria Klesty; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and David Goodman