PRICE increases and higher volumes of fish produced saw profits surge ahead at salmon farmer Marine Harvest’s Scottish operations last year.
The Norwegian-owned company, which has significant operations across Scotland, saw pre-tax profits rise by 72 per cent to £57.4 million on sales of £205.8m, up by 62 per cent on the previous year.
Although feed prices continued to increase, the firm said strong production figures and low levels of fish mortality drove a “highly acceptable underlying performance”.
The highest-paid director at the company received total remuneration of £200,659, up from £181,435 the previous year, and staff numbers increased by 47 to 439 during the period.
Marine Harvest’s operations in Scotland include 25 sea farms on the west coast, five hatcheries and four freshwater loch sites.
Its processing plant and farm management office is in Fort William with a head office and sales function in Edinburgh.
Earlier this year the company said it planned to create 100 jobs in an £80m expansion of its Scottish operation over the next four years.
Parent company chairman Ole Eirik Leroy said at the time that increasing global consumer demand for salmon was behind the move.
The Marine Harvest Group, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, is the world’s biggest seafood company and employs 6,200 people across operations in 22 countries worldwide.
It supplies farmed salmon and processed seafood to customers in more than 50 markets.