A Cooke site in Shetland. The company increased its operating profit by 70 per cent in 2016. Photo: Cooke

Cooke operating profit leaps 70% to £23m for 2016

Cooke’s Scottish salmon farming operations made an operating profit of £22.95 million in 2016 – up 70 per cent compared to 2015's figure of £13.52m - as turnover leaped from £83.4m in 2015 to £123.8m, a rise of 48 per cent.

Profit after tax last year was £14.87m, a big increase on the £5.96m made in 2015, according to figures published this week by Cooke Aquaculture UK Holdings Ltd.

As a percentage of turnover, gross profit increased from 23.7 per cent to 24.3 per cent.

The company, owned by Canadian family firm Cooke Aquaculture Inc., paid £2.35m in tax.

Cooke’s new feed barges at Uyeasound pier, Unst. Photo: Cooke Aquaculture Scotland.

Cooke Aquaculture Scotland farms 45 sites in Orkney and Shetland, and operates a processing facility on Yell. The company employs more than 300 people.

Re-equipping sites

It has been investing in re-equipping sites it acquired when it purchased Thompson Brothers Salmon Ltd and Balta Island Seafare Ltd.

Managing director Colin Blair, interviewed for the October edition of Fish Farming Expert magazine, said: “Balta Island Seafare was four very small sites with older equipment on them, so we are consolidating them into one larger site, and investing in up-to-date equipment.”

36 cages

The ex-Thompson Bros site has been increased in size and will also be re-equipped. Oban-based Fusion Marine is supplying 36 100-metre cages, and HDPE nets will be used in conjunction with a sinker tube for better protection against seal attacks. New 300t feed barges from Steinsvik will be used for feeding. The work is close to completion, with fish due to go in the cages within the next couple of months.

Blair told the magazine that Cooke had enjoyed very good biological performance in the first half of 2017. Annual production volume is expected to be 23,000 tonnes, higher than the budgeted 21,500 tonnes. Last year’s production volume was 20,600 tonnes.

As well as Scotland, Cooke Aquaculture Inc. owns salmon farming operations in eastern Canada, the east and west United States, and Chile, along with sea bass and sea bream farms in Spain.

Published: 06/10/2017 at 11:33 am

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