Scotland business

Scottish Salmon Company slumps to £405,000 loss

Scottish salmon Image copyright Scottish Salmon Company

The Scottish Salmon Company, one of the country's biggest fish farm businesses, slumped to a £405,000 loss for last year.

The company, which reported a profit of £13.7m in 2014, said it had faced "challenging" market conditions.

Full-year revenue for the Edinburgh-based firm fell from £126m in 2014 to just over £100m last year.

Its harvest of fish also fell, from 30,200 tonnes to 25,600 tonnes.

There was a significant impact to the final figures from a £3.6m cut in the "fair value" placed on fish stocks.

Before taking that into account, profit per kilo was down from 37p to only 16p.

In the final quarter of the year, profit per kilo was only 7p - although the figures improved on a big loss for July to September.

The company's results statement explained that salmon prices reached record levels in Norwegian currency towards the end of the year. But with a sharp weakening in the krone's value against sterling, that advantage was weakened.

'Incidents of mortality'

The Scottish Salmon Company was set back by its boats needing unplanned maintenance, and by stormy weather, which made harvesting impossible on 16 days between October and December.

It also faced "isolated incidents of mortality on specific sites", but did not give details.

The results emphasised the challenge of fish health and quality of produce.

The company, which said fish health continued to be "a priority for the company and the sector", is taking part in a project to farm "cleaner fish" or wrasse, which eat sea lice when introduced to salmon cages.

The Scottish Salmon Company is held up by Scottish Enterprise as a successful exporter, making 42% of its sales to 24 foreign countries.

That is heavily weighted to Europe, with 38% of overall sales, or £38.7m.

North American exports fell to less than 2% of sales - down from £4.2m to £1.7m - while the "rest of world" accounted for £355,000.

Managing director Craig Anderson said: "When reflecting on 2015, it is important to see how we have handled a series of challenging circumstances during the year.

"We have put strong foundations in place over the past few years that have enabled us to demonstrate the stability of the business."

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