Accounts: Losses widen but turnover is up at Salvesen’s seafoods firm
Dawnfresh Seafoods, whose operations include several fish farms in Argyll and a processing factory in Grantown, plunged deeper into the red in its 2015-16 financial year.
Accounts just released by Companies House show Dawnfresh, based in Uddingston, near Glasgow, saw pre-tax losses widen to £8.1million from £3.9million the year before.
But turnover increased by nearly £7million to £60.3million.
A strategic report with the accounts offered little in the way of explanation for the latest losses.
But multimillionaire chairman Alastair Salvesen, whose family has amassed a substantial fortune from transport and plant hire, admitted the year-on-year performance was “disappointing”.
He added: “In January 2016 of this financial year, the group repositioned itself to that of a business focused wholly on chilled seafood processing and trout farming.”
This was achieved through the sale and disposal of the firm’s frozen scampi business to Whitby Seafoods.
Mr Salvesen said Dawnfresh continued to invest in new product development, a strategy expected to pay off in new opportunities for growth.
The company also spent cash on its fixed assets, including through a ninemonth project to double the capacity of the smoking facilities at its RR Spink and Sons subsidiary in Arbroath. “We inevitably incurred additional costs in working around construction events,” Mr Salvesen said.
He added: “Within farming, we continued to invest in our people and fish husbandry and welfare standards to remain the largest global supplier of Scottish loch trout.
“Both our export and UK trout business opportunities continue to grow, based on our continued investment and development Scottish aquaculture.”
Chief financial officer Jim Hepburn was unavailable yesterday, but a spokeswoman for the company said he had nothing to add to the accounts.
Dawnfresh has seven fish farms and hatcheries in Scotland and Northern Ireland, including freshwater trout sites at Tervine and Braevallich in Argyll.
Its Grantown operation, Daniel’s Sweet Herring, is in one of the UK’s leading producers of ready-to-eat marinated fish products.
The group employed 557 people on average during 2015-16, compared with 496 the year before.
Mr Salvesen and his family made £60million from the sale of logistics firm Christian Salvesen in 2007. They were ranked 197th in the last Sunday Times Rich List of the UK’s wealthiest people, with a fortune estimated at £600million.
INTERESTS: A fish farm on Loch Etive operated by Dawnfresh Seafoods, which also has a processing factory in Grantown
Alastair Salvesen: boss