Young’s Seafood has sailed back into the black, turning a £6.3m loss into more than £7m profits.

The company – which encompasses Young’s Seafood, The Seafood Company and Findus UK – said it managed to haul in a pre-tax profit of £7.4m after successfully implementing “a wide range of initiatives to improve gross margins” in the 15 months to 31 December 2010. Its gross profit margin rose from 10.8% to 13.5% during that period, and operating profits improved by £2.6m to £27.9m.

The current trading environment was challenging, admitted the company, citing raw material inflation, competition, pressure on margins, and customers and consumers looking for ever-better value.

News of Young’s Seafood’s return to profit is the latest in an eventful year at the fish supplier.

Last month, reports surfaced that Young’s ultimate owner – Lion Capital – had appointed Rothschild to evaluate Young’s Seafood and The Seafood Company as part of a review of parent company Findus Group. Young’s CEO Leendert den Hollander dismissed the story as “speculation”.

Young’s has also been touted as a potential buyer of or investor in Cumbrian Seafoods, which confirmed in October that it had appointed KPMG Corporate Finance to “explore its options”.