Loch Duart almost tripled profit last year
Salmon farmer is ‘building of a pipeline of smolts’ for new sites
Scotland salmon farmer Loch Duart increased its annual profit from £1.5 million in 2021-22 to £4.3m in 2022-23, the company says in its newly published annual report.
Turnover increased from £40.6m in 2021-22 to £52.5m, and operating profit rose from £1.8m to £4.7m.
Loch Duart farms in Sutherland and the Hebrides, and last year bought five fallowed sites on Skye from Scottish Sea Farms, which had acquired them when it bought Grieg Shetland in 2021.
In their strategic report for 2022-23, Loch Duart’s directors said they had achieved improved profits while maintaining industry-leading standards of fish welfare, environmental stewardship, community engagement, and exceptional product quality.
Focused on challenges
“Focus on the year has been addressing the increasing challenges created by rising water temperatures and the group’s approach to farming, particularly farm size, allows it to apply less-intensive solutions,” wrote the board.
“The group is working to increase production through new sites. Investments in infrastructure and the building of a pipeline of smolts for input began after the year end.”
Addressing risks and uncertainties associated with salmon farming, the directors said risks in relation to fish health and mortality levels are inevitable, “but the group considers its husbandry and welfare practices are capable of minimising such risks to the extent that they can be addressed”.
Scotland 'falling behind'
On the issue of regulation, directors said Loch Duart operates in an area subject to much regulation from multiple parties which is subject to both political and scientific influence.
The Griggs Review of 2022 recommended improvements, but they remain unimplemented. As a result, Scotland is falling behind
Loch Duart board
Referring to a Scottish Government-commissioned review carried out by regulatory expert Professor Russel Griggs, they added: “The Griggs Review of 2022 recommended improvements, but they remain unimplemented. As a result, Scotland is falling behind other jurisdictions in terms of growth opportunity and cost of compliance.”
Loch Duart, which produces around 6,000 tonnes of salmon annually and operates its own processing facility in Dingwall, employed 178 people in 2022-23, two fewer than the year before, and paid out £7.2m in wages and associated costs, up from £6.5m in 2021-22. Directors received £513,722 in renumeration and pension contributions, down from £813,868 the year before.
The company paid tax of £1.13m (£162,000).