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Fish being hand fed at Wester Ross Fisheries.
Fish being hand fed at Wester Ross Fisheries.

Niche salmon farmer Wester Ross Fisheries increased post-tax profit by more than £1 million (68%) in 2019, its recently published financial report for the year shows.

Profit after tax increased to £2.5m, compared to £1.54m in 2018 when a catastrophic algal bloom had caused mortalities of 52.8% and 41.9% at the company’s Ardessie A and B sites.

Turnover in 2019 increased to £17.3m (2018: £15.8m), gross profit rose to £4.5m (£3.7m) and operating profit increased to £2.2m (£1.6m).

Wester Ross, which produces around 2,000 tonnes of fish annually, also benefited from a tax rebate.

Increased UK sales

Almost 18% (£3m) of turnover came from sales in Europe, the same percentage as in 2018.

Sales to the UK increased to nearly 28% (£4.8m), compared to just 11% (£1.8m) the year before. The value of fish sold to the rest of the world fell from £11.1m to £9.5m.

The average number of employees increased to 60 (52) and the wage bill rose from £1.62m to £1.7m.