UK Fishing fleet nets a solid £1bn turnover in 2018

The UK Fishing Fleet continued to swim along nicely with turnover above £1billion for the second consecutive year according to the new Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet 2018 published by Seafish. But trawl a little deeper and the numbers aren’t quite as rosy as they first look with operating profits down 4% on 2017. We take a deeper dive into the numbers and pick out some bits you may have overlooked:

  • Total turnover has remained static at £1,026m (an increase of less than ½%) with £975m originating from fishing sales. This leaves just 4% coming from other services such as quota rented out, guard duty and other non-fishing trips undertaken. Considering the benefits of some of this fixed fee work is your Company potentially missing out on netting some tidy profits?
  • Revenue figures are also interesting considering the reduction in overall days at sea recorded and attributed to the poor weather conditions in the early months of the year (remember the Beast from the East everyone?). Trips were therefore more efficient in 2018 with greater turnover per days actually at sea.
  • This may however be due to the increase in average price of the catch in the year which has helped mask a 5% decrease in weight of landings compared to 2017. The UK fleet is landing less fish than before but due to the export of the majority of landings and the fall in the pound sterling exchange rate this drop in fish landed is not being seen in turnover levels. Makes those expensive holiday euros a little easier to stomach…
  • The price of fuel is seen as a large contributor to reduced operating profits of £268m, down on the £280m achieved in 2017. Overall fuel costs increased by 20% with fuel costs representing 18% of total income highlighting the importance of cost control in this area
  • For an industry not seen as glamorous and facing skills shortages and low take up amongst young workers, employment statistics always make for interesting reading with full time equivalent jobs estimated at 7,226 this year. This is a slight decrease on the prior year fishing fleet numbers but considering the lower number of days at sea probably reflects a similar position to 2017. 50% of all jobs are also based in Scotland despite England showing the highest number of registered vessels.

So how does your business stack up against the overall UK picture? Are you buoy-ant about the future? Do you see the UK’s departure from the EU as an oppor-tuna-ty? It’s always useful to know if others are experiencing similar problems and to compare the results with previous years o-fish-al statistics. Let us know if anything has caught your eye or you want to discuss your performance with one of our Seafood team.