CEO says firm made 'solid start'

Profits dive at Scottish Salmon Company

Scottish Salmon CompanyProfits sank at the Scottish Salmon Company despite a growth in first quarter turnover.

Operating profit fell by 35% in the first quarter, from £6.5 million to £4.2m as sales grew from £27.3m to £29.1m.

Harvested volumes rose from 6,261 tonnes to 6,741 tonnes.

The Edinburgh-based company’s chief executive Craig Anderson insisted it had been a “solid start to the year”.

The majority of its sites performed “in line with expectations”, adding that industry prices were rising in response to growing consumer demand and lower output from Chile.

Investment in growing export markets has continued with a major presence at two key trade shows – Seafood Expo Global in Brussels last month and Seafood Expo North America in Boston earlier in the year.

These were the first of 11 trade shows planned throughout 2016, in an effort to continue driving exports, which accounted for 43% of total revenues in the quarter, down from 45% in the same period last year.

The SSC’s Native Hebridean Salmon was launched on to the international market at the Brussels exhibition, marking a milestone in the firm’s broodstock programme.

The company said years of research and development have produced a salmon with unique lineage and full traceability.

Bred from stock sourced directly from the waters off North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, the premium salmon has greater muscle density than other farmed salmon, says the SSC.

The company, a double award winner in the Scotland Food and Drink Awards last year, reported a £405,000 loss for 2015 against a £13.6m profit a year earlier.

Mr Anderson said: “While 2015 was not without its challenges, we secured our second highest volumes and turnover.

“We have continued this positive performance into 2016, demonstrating year-on-year growth and clear progress with our export strategy through marketing and innovation.

“There were fewer external factors impacting on harvesting this quarter and the majority of sites met their projected yield.

“A further 2,000 tonnes of consent is due to become operational this year, increasing harvest volumes as part of our long-term plan for sustainable growth.

“We have enjoyed a solid start to 2016 and, with strong prices forecast for the rest of the year and growing consumer demand, we are well placed to meet our growth targets.

“Provenance remains at the heart of our business and we have ambitious plans for our exclusive new Native Hebridean Salmon range.”

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