Chilled foods group Uniq has blamed a “serious deterioration in the market” for the sale of its fish and seafood subsidiary Pinneys of Scotland.

The £1m deal sees ownership of the salmon producer switch to The Seafood Company, part of the Foodvest group. Pinneys of Scotland is a leading producer of fresh and smoked salmon products, together with a range of other fish-based ready meals.

Around 600 staff are currently employed by the Annan-based business, which made an operating loss of £1.1m in its most recent full-year results.

“We have been working hard over recent years to turn this business around but have been severely hampered by the significant deterioration in the market,” said Uniq chief executive Geoff Eaton.

“Given the other priorities within Uniq for investment, the board has concluded that Pinneys of Scotland can no longer be viewed as part of the long-term strategic direction of the group. Finding a buyer is the best outcome for all parties.”