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IntraFish 150: Camanchaca


Sales 2016: $488.2 million

Sales 2015: $439.2 million

Sales 2014: $496 million

Key executive: Ricardo Garcia Holtz, CEO

Key owners: Public, Santiago Stock Exchange

Chilean seafood company Camanchaca is one of Chile’s largest salmon farming groups, but has a diverse operation that includes harvesting and downstream processing, giving it a portfolio of mussels, scallops, wild langostino lobster, jack mackerel – and a sizeable fish feed operation.

Camanchaca was created in 1965 primarily as a harvesting company targeting wild shrimp and langostino lobster, but in the mid-'80s it saw the potential of diversification into aquaculture.

The group has 75 salmon farming concessions distributed among 14 neighborhoods in the Los Lagos and Aysén regions of Chile.

Its aquaculture operations are vertically-integrated and have their own broodstock program, hatchery, ocean sites, as well as the processing plants and product development departments.

The company also operates three processing plants in the Calbuco, Quellon (1/3 ownership) and Bio Bio regions, producing respectively head-on gutted, fillet and value-added products.

Camanchaca is the second largest player in Chile's northern fishing area, with 19.75% of the anchovy quotas and 17.49% of the jack mackerel quotas. Its facilities are located at the port of Iquique, and include a plant with a daily processing capacity of 2,500 metric tons.

In the South, Camanchaca Pesca Sur holds 19.33% of the quotas for jack mackerel and 18.2% for sardine and anchovy species in Chile’s south-central zone. The division has a fleet of eight offshore purse-seine fishing vessels and three vessels for crustacean fishing. It also operates two plants, one for canning and one for meal and oil production.

In total, the company employs around 3,500 people.

The company operates sales offices in the US, where it sells its seafood under the Pier 33 Gourmet and Camanchaca brand names, and sells into Japan via a Tokyo office, and into Europe through a Denmark office.

Like other Chilean producers, Camanchaca has faced a run of challenges including the eruption of the Calbuco volcano in 2015.

In particular, the volcano eruption affected Camanchaca's Petrohue hatchery, causing losses of around 50 percent of the production at the site. The company was forced to rebuilt the site after the event. Reconstruction costs amounted to  $6.5 million (€6.1 million), but Camanchaca spent a further $3 million (€2.8 million) to clean up the 30,000 metric tons of volcano ashes.

The company reported losses of $6.8 million (€6.1 million) in its salmon farming division 2015, as opposed to earnings of $6.5 million (€5.8 million) reported the year prior.

Revenues for the salmon farming division dropped 6 percent to $262.8 million, on total production of 42,195 metric tons of salmonids, primarily Atlantic salmon.

Camanchaca posted profits of $1.4 million (€1.2 million) for its fishing activity, down from profits of $6.2 million (€5.5 million) in 2014. Lower quotas and difficult harvesting conditions were to blame.

Revenues for the fishing division fell 21 percent to $145.8 million.

Other seafood products, including langostino, scallops, abalone and mussels, accounted for $24 million.

The company's outlook for 2016 was initially brighter -- higher salmon prices and improved quotas were expected to boost fortunes -- but the devastating algal bloom will take its toll on the salmon side of the business. Camanchaca, which was insured, lost 2.6 million fish in three sites.

Key figures:









$488.2 million

$439.2 million

$496 million

$438.8 million

$400.1 million

$326.1 million



$21.6 million

$66.1 million

$14.3 million

$12.4 million

$21 million