Slight dip in profits for Cooke’s Scottish fish farming business during 2020.
Cooke Aquaculture Scotland reported turnover of £170.7 million for the 12 months to 21 December 2020, holding steady, having been £169.3 million the previous year. Pre-tax profits were down by just over 14 per cent at £34.2 million, compared to £39.9 million the previous year.
Profit after tax was £27.6 million (2019: £32.7 million).
The company paid a dividend of £79.8 million (2019: £2.3 million) to the group’s holding company, the family-owned Cooke Aquaculture, based in Canada.
Disposals saw the company’s fixed asset investments fall around £1.5 million to £472,927.
On the impact of Covid-19, the directors commented, “Our main markets have proven to be robust and trading continues at levels experienced prior to the pandemic. Measures put in place at the start of the pandemic have been maintained with operational staff continuing to exercise the high levels of hygiene already required at all the sites where biomass is located.”
With more than 60 per cent of Cooke Aquaculture Scotland’s turnover deriving from exports to the rest of Europe, Brexit presented challenges, but the director’s commented, “We have implemented changes to our export processes to ensure our product can be exported to the EU in an efficient and timely manner.”
Cooke has marine sites in Orkney and Shetland, and freshwater operations on the Scottish mainland.