Dawnfresh Farming was in profit when parent company collapsed

After its parent, Dawnfresh Seafoods, fell into administration earlier this year, trout farmer Dawnfresh Farming continued to trade solvently – with the help of a £2m loan from one of its directors.

Dawnfresh Seafoods was placed into the hands of administrators, FRP Advisory, in February. The latest accounts for its subsidiary Dawnfresh Farming, published yesterday, show that the business recorded a gross profit of just under £4.48m on turnover of £20.4m for the period to 27 March 2022. Net profit was 2.24m, down 22% on net profit for the period 2020/21.

The fall in profit and turnover is attributed to “a significant environmental event” at the company’s Loch Etive 4 site. The annual report says that personnel were diverted to treat the fish rather than feeding them, which reduced the site’s harvest volumes.

Following the collapse of Dawnfresh Seafoods, the report says, the “vast majority” of sales for Dawnfresh Farming have been made to overseas companies directly. It goes on: “This has been very successful as export sales have largely been at higher prices and the exchange rates have been in our favour.”

The comopnay’s going concern report states: “The directors have effectively managed their cashflow by securing £2m loan funding from a director at March 2022.”

In February, FRP Advisory sold Dawnfresh’s Arbroath processing facility to Lossie Seafoods Limited, part of the Associated Seafoods Limited (ASL) group, and in June it was announced that Thistle Seafoods had agreed a deal to acquire the former Dawnfresh plant at Uddingston, near Glasgow.

The administrators are reportedly confident that they will find a buyer for the fish farming business.