The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) is sticking to its current full-year harvest projections despite a “challenging” quarter in which volumes fell by more than 40 per cent on the same period last year.
The Oslo-listed firm, which accounts for about 20 per cent of Scotland’s total salmon production, harvested 5,130 tonnes during the three months to September. That was down from a record 8,779 tonnes previously, when SSC realised its highest quarterly volumes to date.
Managing director Craig Anderson said the third quarter is traditionally a difficult period for the industry, and is particularly challenging for SSC in alternate years, when volumes are held back by harvesting from smaller, more remote sites.
The company has stocked two new sites at Scadabay and Reibinish in the Hebrides to help balance out production. This will add an extra 4,000 tonnes for harvest in 2017.
SCC is also continuing development of its new broodstock facility in North Uist, which will be fully operational next year.
“Despite the challenging conditions experienced this quarter, we remain committed to delivering our long-term strategy of sustainable business growth with the focus on the provenance of our premium quality Scottish salmon both in the UK and internationally,” Anderson said.
Exports accounted for 48 per cent of revenues, which fell to £18 million from £33.6m previously. Underlying earnings fell from £2m to a loss of £1.5m as the strength of the pound and “continued biological issues” impacted performance.
Headquartered in Edinburgh, SSC employs 450 people at marine farms, freshwater hatcheries and processing facilities. In September, it said 2015 production would be about 10 per cent lower than the 30,000 tonnes originally forecast.