Integration sees salmon profits leap

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
10 February 2007, at 12:00am

UK - Shetland's largest salmon farming and processing company has had its best financial year ever amassing gross profits of almost £11 million.

Hjaltland Seafarms Group (HSG) produces more than one third of Shetland's salmon and processes 50 per cent of the islands' overall product says Shetland News.

The company recently started building a £3.6 million processing plant in Lerwick and will start producing smoked and cured salmon at the end of the year.

Managing director Michael Stark said yesterday (Friday): "2006 has been our best year ever. We believe the Hjaltland Group achieved amongst the highest operating margins in the UK.

"We attribute our success to adopting a way of working that integrates our farming, processing, sales and marketing into one very efficient and streamlined system. The integrated approach allows us to keep a very close eye on our margins."

In 2006, HSG processed 19,000 tonnes of salmon and sea trout and 3,000 tonnes of salmon fillets at their Lerwick Fish Traders factory, at Gremista.

General manager of trades association Shetland Aquaculture, David Sandison, said: "The outlook is bright but we should not get too elated by one good year. We are looking for sustainability so we can make longer term plans. This healthy year allows us to make significant investment for the future."

HSG is set to increase its salmon farming production to more than 20,000 tonnes in 2007, a substantial increase from the 15,110 tonnes farmed last year.

Mr Stark concluded: "Our significant growth has been achieved by expanding our farming operation through acquisitions and development of new sites in 2005 and 2006, enabling us to increase our share of the market for superior quality Scottish salmon from Shetland."