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Scottish Salmon Company nets record earnings in 2018

SSC acquired in the Harris & Lewis Smokehouse in December to be used exclusively for its Native Hebridean salmon strain. Photo: SSC.
SSC acquired in the Harris & Lewis Smokehouse in December to be used exclusively for its Native Hebridean salmon strain. Photo: SSC.

The Scottish Salmon Company has reported record full-year revenue and operating profit (EBITDA) for 2018 as a whole and the fourth quarter of last year.

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SSC made revenue of £180.1 million last year, compared to £151m in 2017, and EBITDA increased to £56.3m (£38.7m).

Fourth quarter revenue was up 6% to £42.5m (£39.9m) and EBIT/Kg rose 20% to £1.14 (£0.95) driven by higher harvest volume and strong prices.

Click on image to enlarge.
Click on image to enlarge.

29,013 tonnes harvested

SSC harvested 29,913 tonnes in the whole of 2018, up from 25,272 tonnes in 2017, and above a revised target of 29,500 tonnes. The company harvested 7,045 tonnes (6,874) in Q4. Its harvest target for 2019 is 31,500 tonnes and 7% cycle-on-cycle growth is forecast.

Export volumes accounted for 61% of sales during the period, up from 58% in Q4 2017. Exports for 2018 as a whole accounted for 58% of sales.

Chief executive Craig Anderson said record Q4 results were driven by strong operational performance across the value chain, good biological performance and a positive market environment.

Craig Anderson: Focused on developing SSC's presence in North America and Far East.
Craig Anderson: Focused on developing SSC's presence in North America and Far East.

Driving exports

“Throughout 2018 we focused on driving export growth. Our commitment to Scottish provenance and quality are key differentiators in the international market place,” said Anderson in a market update.

“Our brands, underpinned by this unique Scottish provenance, have contributed to our export achievements over the past 12 months. Lochlander Salmon was successfully introduced into North America and Tartan Salmon Label Rouge launched in France, growing our market share in these territories. Developing our presence in North America and the Far East remain our focus.”

Smokehouse ‘a milestone’

Anderson said SSC made several investments to improve productivity and efficiency throughout the value chain during 2018. These included freshwater developments, the Native Hebridean Family Breeding Unit, strategic site development and a further increase in processing capabilities.

“Supporting this strategy is the recent acquisition of the Harris & Lewis Smokehouse on the Isle of Lewis,” said the CEO. “Reinforcing our commitment to rural Scotland, it will exclusively smoke Native Hebridean salmon and represents a milestone in the development of this salmon.  It complements the introduction of fresh Native Hebridean salmon into a major UK retailer earlier this year.”

SSC’s total capital expenditure if 2018 was £20.5m, consisting of infrastructure investment in the new marine sites of Maaey and Portree as well as freshwater facilities and ongoing site improvement projects.

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