young's seafood

Sales and profits have plunged at seafood specialist Young’s after the loss of its crucial salmon supplying contract with Sainsbury’s.

Young’s Seafood annual sales dropped by almost £90m in the year to 30 September 2016 after the loss of its salmon processing contract with the supermarket to Marine Harvest just before the start of its 2015/16 financial year.

The annual results of Young’s Seafood owner Lion Gem Luxembourg 3 Sarl showed total sales of £495m during the year, down 15.2% on sales of £584m in its 2014/15 financial year.

EBITDA dropped 42% to £23m from £37.4m in the prior year.

Previously filed accounts showed the salmon processing contract was worth c.£100m per year and its loss resulted in a strategic review, backed by PE owners Lion Capital, Highbridge Capital Management and Sankaty Advisors. Young’s downsized its Fraserburgh plant in Scotland and was seeking strategic acquisitions to boost the top line, but no deals have yet been struck. “We have worked proactively and collaboratively with our retailer partners to take mitigating activities to address exceptional Brexit-driven foreign exchange and raw material inflation,” said CEO Bill Showalter.

Despite the hit to chilled, Showalter said frozen revenues had grown 5.3%, boosted by the Young’s masterbrand relaunch.

“Our brand remains the clear number one in both chilled and frozen, across multiple channels and temperature ­formats,” he added.