THE Scottish Salmon Company has reported record revenues of £98.3 million in the first half of 2018, up 36 per cent from £72 million in the same period last year.
The Edinburgh based producer also saw harvest volumes grow significantly, from 11,617 tonnes in the first half of 2017 to 15,777 tonnes this year.
The company’s EBIT per kg increased 28 per cent to £2.11 compared with £1.65 during H1 2017; and it has been able to revise its annual forecast to 28,000 tonnes, up from 26,500 tonnes.
CEO Craig Anderson attributed the success to a strong market for Scottish salmon in general and impressive exports for his team, with 59 per cent of sales going abroad to 27 countries, including to Canada for the first time.
On top of this, the new management, including head biologist David Cockerill, formerly of Marine Harvest, oversaw health improvements, reduced mortalities and an increased weight of harvested stock.
‘We’re very pleased, the whole team has been working very hard for this,’ said Anderson, speaking from Oslo this morning after presenting the results.
‘We’re just back from Japan, where we were at the Seafood Expo, and we’ve now got people on the ground there and having a local presence really helps. As well as Japan, we have a local presence in France and in the United States, which is working really well for us.
‘And we’ve been able to take some Label Rouge salmon into Canada for the first time, which is exciting.’
The UK remains the company’s biggest market, with France also strong and Germany increasing, but the focus recently has been on developing markets beyond Europe, which Anderson said they have targeted for the past two years, with brands such as Lochlander, Tartan and Native Hebridean salmon.
‘In fact, on June 24 , the day after the Brexit vote, I was on the plane to New York, and burning shoe leather up and down the east coast. We’ve been very active, and put a lot of miles under our belts.
‘No one knows what punitive tariffs there may or may not be…but we can’t procrastinate and worry about it so let’s go and find new markets.’
The SSC has increased production and efficiency in Scotland, with two new sites commissioned this year, and a new freshwater facility and hatchery, which will become operational in February next year.
It is also about to take delivery of a 400 tonne Gael Force feed barge, the SSC’s biggest yet, which will be based at Portree on Skye and service two sites of 2,000 tonnes each.
Anderson said the health and welfare of the stock remain fundamental to operations.
‘We continue to invest in our health management strategy to ensure a best practice approach.
‘What we’ve been able to do is increase the tools we have to look after the fish; that increases the speed we can get to the fish if there’s a problem, and either get the fish out or get them better quicker.’
Picture: Scottish Salmon Company CEO Craig Anderson