Operating profits have more than trebled at one of the UK’s top smoked salmon producers despite enduring challenging times, directors have said.
Farne Salmon and Trout Ltd have posted operating profit of £2.56m for the year ended June 28, a significant leap on the previous period’s £665,000.
The Duns-based business, which processes salmon and white fish for the retail and wholesale markets, said it was able to report “an improving result despite the continuing difficult economic situation.”
Latest accounts filed at Companies House show the company also grew turnover from £64.4m to £73.4m, a lift of 14%, and pre-tax profits of £2.56m were recorded, up on the previous year’s £130,000.
The vast majority of the firm’s sales – £69.8m – were made in the EU, and the directors said the turnover and pre-tax profit arise principally from one continuing class of business carried out substantially in the UK.
Rest of the world sales accounted for the remaining £3.62m, a dip on the £4.27m which came in from further overseas markets in the previous 12 months.
Looking ahead, the directors said: “The continued investment in production facilities continue to provide a firm base from which the business is expected to continue to grow.”
Shareholder funds at the year end stood at £10.95m, up from £9.35m.
The Duns factory is now among the biggest smoked salmon facilities in Europe, having started out in 1982 with a small team of six. Now the firm is the biggest private employer in the Borders with an average of 589 staff from both sides of the border.
Headcount increased by 53 in the period, with 45 of the new starters joining the production team.
The year’s results mark a second year of improvement at the business, having recorded an operating loss of £930,000 in 2012 on sales of £60m.
The firm operates a defined contribution pension scheme, the assets of which are held in a separate trustee administered fund, and contributions to the pension pot amounted to £141,000, almost double the £77,000 contributed the previous year.