Thistle Seafoods optimistic despite profit slump

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Despite a big drop in profits last year, the Scottish company Thistle Seafoods has issued an upbeat assessment on future prospects for the business.

Profits were down by 90% from £3.3m in 2021 to £303,000 during the year, largely due to higher raw material costs and external factors.

Thistle bought the Dawnfresh factory at Uddingston near Glasgow last year after the company was placed in administration.

Trout producer Dawnfresh Farming, which continued to trade profitably, was sold to Mowi for an undisclosed figure earlier this year.

Thistle reported higher sales of £115.6m against just over £105m a year earlier. But the cost of sales (mainly fish) rose by around £12m to £100,890,000.

The company’s strategic report said 2022 presented significant challenges which included a direct impact from the war in Ukraine which led to wide ranging sanctions against Russia, a major raw material supplier to the UK.

This was compounded by “extreme energy price inflation” at home along with other inflationary effects labour and tight supply issues.

The report continues: “In spite of all this, the company reported growth in turnover and it remains profitable which is highly commendable, given the significant external headwinds the company faced in 2022. The turnover increased to £115m which is a record for the company.

“We would like to recognise the support from our key customers in helping us to navigate the most challenging of years.”

The year also saw the opportunity to significantly expand its manufacturing and distribution footprint with the addition of the Dawnfresh site at Uddingston.

This increased space, said Thistle, would allow it to offer new opportunities as they arise and it looked forward with a great deal of optimism as inflationary pressures start to ease.

Thistle Seafoods’ former Dawnfresh plant, Uddingston

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