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Gloucestershire Business News

Smokery nets more profits as business prepares for dramatic up-scaling

It may have started as a modest smokery championing the produce of the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley, but today Severn & Wye Smokey is a multi-million pound business.

Its latest accounts reveal a company which only marginally increased turnover in 2019 - to £54,677,140 (2018 - £54,994,694) - but saw a much more dramatic increase in operating profit from £791,879 in 2018 to £923,410.

All of which is just small fry compared to the bigger picture, which avid Punchline readers will know includes major multi-million pound plans to redevelopment Lydney Docks into a new eel fishery and smokery.

As for its most recent accounts, which also reveal a little more of the major restructuring taking place at the business in readiness for the Lydney plans, the major threats to its continued progress are clear.

"The principal risk and uncertainty that impacts the business is the price of fish. Management have a detailed knowledge and experience in the industry and are well positioned to mitigate the risks as well as take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves," said Richard Cook, director and founder of the Chaxhill-based operation (pictured right).

"The economic climate continues to be dominated by the potential impact of Brexit, leading to expectations of an economic slowdown within the UK.

"However, the board remains confident that here will be no material disruption to the business, regardless of the outcome of negotiations and at this time no significant risk factors have been identified."

At March 2019 the company has net assets of £5,820,092 compared to £10,009,738 in 2018, the reduction explained to a large part by the restructuring mentioned above.

On April 1 the entire share capital of the company was transferred from Richard Cook to Osla Futures in exchange for share capital issued in Osla Futures Ltd - a company also owned by Mr Cook.

And on November 1 certain properties held by Severn & Wye Smokey were transferred to Osla Futures by way of a dividend payment.

Plans for the ambitious Lydney Docks redevelopment were originally filed with the Forest of Dean District Council in May 2019, and now look like they go to planning on February 3.

Plans for the Lydney Docks redevelopment involve demolishing buildings on the site at the moment and adding a fish processing building of 20,000 square metres, an 8,000 square metres eel farm, a restaurant cafe and visitor centre (totalling 2,000 sq metres), an energy centre (800 sq metres), storage building (500 sq metres), an amenity building for HGV (15 sq metres), a generator substation building, three three-bedroom houses, eight one bedroom apartments, four two-bed apartments and 18 shared units of accommodation for seasonal staff as well as two water treatment lagoons.

Read more: Plans submitted to invest "scores of millions" in to the Forest of Dean.

Read more: Smokery boss spreads conservation message of the Severn's 'Beluga'.

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