The Scottish Salmon Company said its revenues for the first quarter of 2017 were £35.1 million, up from £29.1 million in the same quarter last year, on harvested volumes of 5,685 tonnes, down from 6,741 tonnes, as the “biological challenges” of sea lice continued to hamper the salmon industry.
“Increased revenue has been driven by further development of the export market, increased contract prices with a focus on customer partnerships together with consistently higher market prices,” said the Edinburgh-based company.
“Also driven by operational improvements, EBIT/kg was £1.67 (Q1 2016: £0.30), the best result in the history of The Scottish Salmon Company.
“However, industry wide biological challenges remain a challenge and had an impact on costs in 2016 and which followed through into the first quarter 2017.
“The Scottish Salmon Company remains focused on biological improvements, introducing a number of proactive and reactive strategies including: the lease of an additional well boat to ensure operational flexibility and the commissioning of a dedicated hydrolicer and targeted feed regime and the further introduction of cleaner fish throughout marine sites.”
The Scottish Salmon Company said first-quarter export sales accounted for 47% of value, up from 43% in Q1 2016.
“The Scottish Salmon Company continues to target overseas markets, leveraging the value of its provenance and the continued demand for quality Scottish produce,” said the firm, which employs around 500 people at locations including the Hebrides and Edinburgh.
The Scottish Salmon Company Limited is a subsidiary of The Scottish Salmon Company PLC, which is listed on the Oslo Børs stock exchange.
“Together with our sales of Label Rouge salmon, Native Hebridean salmon is a key driver of export growth …” said the firm.
“The outlook is for a continued strong demand and with limited global supply growth this paves the way for continued firm prices throughout 2017 and into 2018.”
The company expects to harvest about 25,000 tonnes in 2017.
During the first quarter, the firm received a positive decision notice for a site at Portree on the Isle of Skye with an additional 2,000 tonnes of consent.
The Scottish Salmon Company CEO Craig Anderson said: “We remain firmly focused on our long term growth strategy and new site development is an integral part of this strategy.
“The development of the site at Portree demonstrates this and complements our existing Hebridean operations.
“We have made positive steps to address the biological challenges introducing new initiatives including the commissioning of a hydrolicer and an additional well boat to increase operational efficiencies and increase flexibility.
“The global salmon market remains strong and prices are forecast to remain firm.
“Demand at home and overseas for Scottish salmon as a premium food product continues.
“Our aim remains to capitalise on this with our continued drive on exports together with a focus on developing long term customer partnerships.
“Our Native Hebridean development complements the increasing trend of food provenance which is core to our marketing drive for overseas sales.”