Despite being able to lift sales volumes to a record high, Athens-listed company Nireus reported negative earnings for the first half of 2019 due to fierce competition with rival Turkish seabass and seabream producers.

The seabass and seabream producer's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell to a negative €4.3 million ($4.6 million), a 25 percent drop compared to the first six months of last year, even though production costs remained at the same level as 2018.

Due to the decline of the average selling price of the fish, revenues also dropped more than 1.5 percent to €96.8 million ($106 million) in first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year.

However, the company was able to offset the 7.8 percent price decline by increasing the amount of fish sold by 9.3 percent compared to the year prior.

The group's exports amounted to more than three-quarters of the total sales at €78.4 million ($85 million).

Currently, the company's share price is fluctuating at around €0.20 ($0.22), down 3.4 percent from when the market closed Tuesday. The company's market cap fell to €58.8 million ($64 million) as a result.

Nireus share price drops following weak earnings. Photo: Bloomberg Markets

Canadian giant Cooke Aquaculture and Greek private equity fund Diorasis are reportedly front-runners to acquire the assets of Greek bass and bream producers Nireus and Selonda, who are being forced to shed as part of their upcoming acquisition.

The merger of Selonda and Nireus into Andromeda is "not to get richer, this is to survive," Andromeda Marketing Manager Achilleas Papadopoulos previously told IntraFish.

Once completed, the group, which will be owned jointly by United Arab Emirates-backed Mubadala and US private equity group Amerra, will begin the business of branding and market development in an effort to compete with neighboring producer Turkey.