Iceland’s largest whaling company reported profits in the billions – but they didn’t come from whaling, which actually operated at a loss.
Viðskiptablaðið reports that Hvalur hf. – Iceland’s largest whaling company – earned 3 billion ISK in the last fiscal year. These figures are up by about half a billion from the year previous.
However, a closer look at these figures tells clearer story.
Viðskiptablaðið found that when operational costs – such as maintaining ships, running the whaling centre in Hvalfjörður and export costs – were subtracted from the company’s revenue from whale meat, the difference amounted to a loss of 72.5 million ISK.
In point of fact, the majority of Hvalur hf.’s positive earnings came from its shares in the company Vogun hf., which is the largest shareholder of the fishing company HB Grandi. Kristján Loftsson (pictured above, left) is both the director of Hvalur hf. and the managing director of HB Grandi. Vogun, in turn, is 99.8% owned by Hvalur hf.