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Scotland's leading trout farmer, Dawnfresh, increased turnover and profit margin but still made a loss. Photo: Dawnfresh
Scotland's leading trout farmer, Dawnfresh, increased turnover and profit margin but still made a loss. Photo: Dawnfresh

Scotland's biggest trout farmer, Dawnfresh, increased turnover by 8.5% to £65.5 million in the 2016-17 financial year, but still made a "disappointingly high" loss of £7.7m, a slight improvement on the £8.1m loss of 2015-16.

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In the firm’s strategic report, group chairman Alastair Salvesen said it had been a year of transformation for the Uddingston-based business following a decision in January 2016 to reposition Dawnfresh to focus entirely on chilled seafood processing and trout farming.

Dawnfresh has seven fish farms and hatcheries in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It grows freshwater trout at Tervine, Braevallich and Loch Earn, and loch trout at Loch Etive.

Alastair Salvesen: Year of transformation
Alastair Salvesen: Year of transformation

In the report, Salvesen stated: "Our new product development programme in both our existing and new categories has continued to grow, and indeed accelerate, year on year resulting in strong growth with existing customers as well as accessing new key customers. We expect this significant investment in NPD to continue into the 2017-18 financial year and beyond and provide continued opportunities for profitable growth."

Continued investment

He added: "Both our export and UK trout business opportunities continue to grow based on our continued investment and development in Scottish aquaculture."

Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd had a turnover of £65,495,008 in 2016-17 (£60,314,360 in the previous year), and made a gross profit of £2,755,039 (4.2%, up from 2.4% the year before), along with other operating income of £714,888.

Once distribution costs of £4,006,419 and administration costs of £7,451,259 were taken into account, the company made an operating loss of £7,987,751. The final loss of £7,747,921 was offset slightly by the sale of investment property.

The strategic report states that Dawnfresh continued to diversify its sources of funding, and had net external loans of £3.9m, which it said were comfortably covered by net assets of £27.2m.

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