North-east seafood firm Macduff Shellfish Group (MSG) suffered a sharp fall in profits in its final trading year before a Canadian takeover worth nearly £100million.
Accounts just lodged at Companies House show MSG made pre-tax profits of £1.08million during the year to September 30, 2015, down from £3.2rmillion in the previous 12 months.
But revenue from continuing operations increased to £52.8million in the latest period, from £46.2million in 2013/14.
Bosses said key sales markets were performing well despite ongoing economic challenges in the eurozone.
The accounts also show Mintlaw-based MSG paid nearly £7.2million for a shellfish trading business and four scallop fishing vessels from the Exeter-based Greendale Group last June. The value was not disclosed at the time.
MSG – believed to be Europe’s largest wild caught shellfish processor – aimed to use the acquisition to gain a foothold in south-west England.
The group employed 292 people on average in 2014/15, up from 278 a year earlier.
MSG’s continued backing for Highland League football club Deveronvale was highlighted in the accounts, which revealed annual sponsorship worth £11,000.
The business was snapped up by Clearwater Seafoods-one of North America’s largest seafood companies – late last year.
It meant a huge windfall for the Beaton family, including brothers Euan, Paul and Fergus, who owned more than half of MSG’s shares.