Scottish Salmon Company leaps back into the black

HIGHER prices and cost cutting have helped the Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) to jump back into the black during the opening half of the year.

The Edinburgh-based company, which produces about 20 per cent of Scotland’s salmon, yesterday posted a profit of £5.6 million for the six months to 30 June, compared with a loss of £100,000 in the first half of 2012.

Turnover jumped to £42.5m from £30.2m as the production of higher-quality fish allowed the Oslo-listed firm to export more salmon than last year. Stewart McLelland, SSC’s chief executive, said: “The global outlook for salmon is positive with growth in demand exceeding current projections for growth in supply and a consequential rise in the underlying traded prices of salmon.

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“This has led to a significant boost to sales in the second quarter and has allowed us to renegotiate around half of our contracted salmon to take advantage of the price rises.”

But McLelland warned that the company would face higher costs during the second half of the year as it continues to battle against amoebic gill disease (AGD), which he said had effected the whole industry.

“The biological development of current stock is good and performing normally but, against this positive backdrop, we must expect higher production costs in the second half because of historic issues with AGD,” he said.

The company added that it is recruiting staff for its processing facility in Stornoway and is hiring around 25 workers as it prepares to re-open its gutting line at Marybank during the early autumn.