THE Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) had a record year in 2017, with revenues of £150.95 million, almost 50 per cent higher than its previous best of £109.9 million in 2016.
The company spent more than £98 million with 135 Scottish suppliers, a significant share of the salmon industry’s total spend of £390 million in the Scottish supply chain.
‘Our local sourcing policy retains as much value in Scotland as possible,’ the SSC said in its annual report, published today.
The producer met its volume target for the year of 25,000 tonnes and anticipate a total of 26,500 tonnes in 2018.
The SSC recruited 163 new employees last year, bringing its total staff up to 510, with 92 per cent working across 60 sites on the west coast and in the Hebrides.
‘As a major employer in these remote and rural areas, we strive to provide quality employment and retain staff long term,’ the report said.
The company has a programme of site development, with a number of applications in progress. In 2017 it secured consent for an additional 2,000 tonnes at Portree on the Isle of Skye, doubling capacity in the area. The site will be stocked in 2018 with the first harvests expected in late 2019.
SSC chief executive Craig Anderson (pictured) said: ‘The year was not without its challenges and we continue to work hard to address the biological situation being experienced industry wide.
‘We made good progress in delivering our long term strategy of sustainable growth. Careful planning, strategic investment and a focus on efficiency has strengthened our foundation, with some record highs in turnover due to increased harvest volumes and strong market prices.’
A focus on enhanced fish health planning and investment has helped improve the company’s biosecurity, he said.
‘Addressing biological challenges continues to be a priority for the business. Like any sector that works with livestock, there are naturally occurring issues to manage.
‘We have taken a collaborative approach with industry partners to proactively develop sustainable and scalable solutions.
‘A new hydrolicer has had a substantial impact, while we have extended our cleaner fish programme and trialled freshwater treatments to good effect.
‘A targeted feed regime has improved fish health and we strengthened our health management team, who have further developed our already rigorous approach to health planning.’
The SSC has continued its export drive, and overseas sales now account for 50 per cent of total revenue.
This effort was recognised in a number of awards, including three Highlands & Islands Food and Drink Awards for export success and product awards for the company’s Native Hebridean Salmon.