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Dividend drought comes to an end

Atlantic Salmon Health Post-harvest +3 more

The Scottish Salmon Company has paid its shareholders a dividend for the first time in seven years, following a marked improvement in its performance.

The company's H1 report, released today, shows that revenues rose by 36 percent to reach a record £98.3 million for the first six months of the year, driven by higher harvest volumes (15,777 tonnes) and strong prices, while EBIT/kg increased by 28 percent to reach £2.11. The performance led to investors receiving a NOK 0.34 (£0.03) per share dividend at the end of Q1, the first time they have received one since 2011. And the company now expects to harvest 28,000 tonnes of salmon during 2018, up from the previous forecast of 26,500 tonnes.

The Scottish Salmon Company's Eport site, on North Uist

Craig Anderson, The Scottish Salmon Company's chief executive, said: "We are pleased to report positive results for the first half of the year and remain focused on growing the business in a responsible and sustainable manner through implementing operational efficiencies and driving market development.

"In addition to securing steady volume growth, strengthened biosecurity and infrastructure development, the health and welfare of our stock remain fundamental to operations and we continue to invest in our health management strategy to ensure a best practice approach.

"We have stated ambitions to increase exports worldwide and strengthening our presence in overseas markets continues to be a core focus. Our export strategy is built on development of long term partnerships, promotion of our provenance led brands and strong customer relations. During the period, our new Lochlander brand, a product tailored for high end food service, was successfully introduced into the USA."

The company attributes the improvement in fortunes largely to an improvement in fish health performance and plans to continue to invest in this area – including the continued development of its cleaner fish programme investment in a second Hydrolicer, which will come into operation in Q3.

Looking ahead, the company’s new site at Portree is currently being installed, while their acquisition of a site at Maaey in Uist is now complete – each of which will be stocked by the end of the year adding an additional 4,000 tonnes of consent.

During the remainder of the year, SSC plans to invest £5 million to expand freshwater facilities and increase in-house smolt production. The aim is to increase smolt numbers and mean weight, to improve operational efficiencies and ensure consistency, predictability and quality of smolts produced. The investments include an upgrade development at Applecross hatchery in North West Scotland and continued work at the Langass Native Hebridean family breeding unit in North Uist, which is planned to be fully operational later this year.