Growing global demand and strong market prices have helped one of the Scottish salmon industry’s largest players post record results.
The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC), which employs more than 500 people and operates 60 sites across the west coast and the Hebrides, saw sales in the fourth quarter of 2018 rise 6 per cent to £42.5 million.
The increase took total sales for the year at the Edinburgh-headquartered firm up to £180.1m from £151m the previous year. Underlying earnings for the year grew to £56.3m from £38.7m.
The total harvest for 2018 was 29,913 tonnes, slightly ahead of forecasts, with a target to increase that to 31,500 tonnes this year.
Export sales continue to account for a growing share of total turnover, rising to 61 per cent in the fourth quarter, up from 58 per cent in the same period in 2017.
The company, whose parent firm is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, said it is continuing to develop overseas markets, particularly in North America and the Far East.
Craig Anderson, chief executive at SSC, said its focus on Scottish provenance and quality are “key differentiators” in the international market place.
“Our brands have contributed to our export achievements over the past 12 months. Lochlander Salmon was successfully introduced into North America and Tartan Salmon Label Rouge launched in France, growing our market share in these territories,” he said.
Although Anderson said the company was monitoring Brexit negotiations closely, he stressed the company has a “global perspective and robust long-term strategy in place to support growth”.
Alongside the results the company announced it had acquired the Harris & Lewis Smokehouse on the Isle of Lewis.
Anderson said the facility will smoke native Hebridean salmon and ties in with the introduction of the product into a major UK retailer earlier this year.