The revenues – up from £35.1m in Q1 2017 – were driven by higher harvest volumes and strong prices. SSC harvested 7,136 tonnes in Q1 2018, an increase on the 5,685 tonnes harvested in the corresponding quarter last year.
EBIT/kg improved to £1.83, 10% up from Q1 2017, while costs/kg fell to £4.24/kg (Q1 2017: £4.51/kg), although the Edinburgh-based company pointed out that from Q1 2018, it changed its basis accounting estimate for mortalities to be more in line with its competitors, something that reduced costs figures by £0.24/kg in the quarter.
SSC said mortalities had reduced since last quarter, due to colder sea water temperatures since the start of the year and initiatives taken to improve the biological situation.
The company, which introduced its Lochlander salmon brand in the United States during Q1, said export volumes accounted for 61% of total sales in the period, up from 47% in Q1 2017. Exports to markets outside Europe increased to 20%.
SSC’s anticipated harvest volume remains at 26,500 tonnes in 2018.
Chief executive Craig Anderson said: “Our long-term strategy to grow our business and to offer premium branded quality products produced in a sustainable way remains. Harvest volumes during the first three months of 2018 increased for the fifth consecutive quarter.
“Growing exports and strengthening our presence in overseas markets continues to be a key priority. This strategy is based on development of long term partnerships, promotion of our brands and strong customer relations. During the quarter, our new Lochlander brand was introduced into the USA and was well received.
“Operational efficiency is key, we continue to work to improve performance and efficiency throughout the value-chain.
“Demand for Scottish salmon as a premium product remains strong. We aim to capitalise on this through continued development of our premium brands.”