Scotland business

Scottish Salmon Company reports fall in operating profit

Scottish salmon Image copyright Scottish Salmon Company

The Scottish Salmon Company saw operating profit fall by more than a third in the first quarter, despite increasing its sales.

The firm said profit fell year-on-year from £6.5m to £4.2m, while revenues rose from £27.3m to £29.1m.

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

But earnings per kilo before "fair value adjustment" slumped from 75p in the first three months of last year to just 30p in the first quarter of 2016.

The Edinburgh-based company - one of the country's biggest fish farm businesses - said it had had a "solid start" to the year.

It reported that the majority of its sites performed "in line with expectations" in the first quarter - in contrast to the end of last year, when "weather conditions and routine maintenance" impacted on harvesting.

The firm added that market conditions had been "encouraging" throughout the quarter, with industry prices continuing to rise in response to growing consumer demand and lower output from Chile.

The Scottish Salmon Company has been investing in growing export markets, attending two key trade shows so far this year. Brussels Expo and Seafood Expo North America were the first of 11 shows planned for 2016.

The firm also recently launched its Native Hebridean Salmon product on the international market.

Exports accounted for 43% of total revenues in the quarter.

'Positive performance'

Scottish Salmon Company managing director Craig 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."

The company slumped to a £405,000 loss last year after facing "challenging" market conditions.

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