Salmon firm heading for record year

A RECORD year is on the cards for the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) amid increased production and higher profits.

The company has turned over 63.2 million in the first nine months of the year, compared with 64.5m for the whole of last year, thanks to good fish health and a price premium for Scottish salmon.

SSC conceded it had been affected by "seasonal softening of market conditions" during the third quarter, but said revenues edged up 0.5 per cent to 20.6m, while pre-tax profits soared 123.7 per cent to 8.5m.

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The company, which accounts for about 20 per cent of Scottish production, has its head office in Edinburgh, but listed on Norway's Axess junior stock exchange during the period.

It was previously known as Lighthouse Caledonia, which shut its Marybank facility in Stornoway, Lewis, in December 2008 with the loss of 130 posts.

A rescue came from private equity firm Northern Link, which took a stake of more than 50 per cent in the firm last year and, in March this year, SSC unveiled plans to reopen the Stornoway site and hire 70 staff.

The company launched in July, and said yesterday it had started processing in Stornoway.

SSC also acquired West Minch Salmon in July, securing around 140 jobs in the Hebrides and west coast of Scotland. It started processing in the Hebrides on 1 September. It now owns about 40 sites and employs 350 staff.