Salmon firm hit by 'unprecedented' level of mortalities
A Scottish salmon producer has reported third-quarter losses after suffering an "unprecedented" level of deaths at its fish farms.
The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) said it was hit by "exceptional mortalities" amounting to 1,300 tonnes - about a fifth of its potential harvest.
SSC also said "biological challenges", such as sea lice, had led to a lower mean weight of fish harvested.
As a result, operating costs increased and earnings dipped, it added.
The Oslo-listed company reported losses of £1.4m in the quarter before interest and tax.
This was despite a 39% increase year-on-year in revenue as a result of increased harvested volumes and higher market prices.
Revenue stood at £25.5m, while volumes rose from 5,130 tonnes to 5,486 tonnes.
SSC managing director Craig Anderson said: "This quarter has been challenging and, like many other operators in the sector, results have been impacted by biological issues.
"We have been working for some time to develop effective long term solutions to tackle these industry wide issues, such as the use of cleaner fish to combat sea lice.
"In the shorter term, we are using a range of established best practice methods to manage the situation.
"We remain focused on growing our business and developing our export markets to enable us to capitalise on the continued demand for premium Scottish salmon.
"Maragay Mor, our new site in the Hebrides, has been commissioned and is an important element in delivering our strategy of long term sustainable growth."