Highland seafood firm reels in London business

Highland seafood firm reels in London business

Expansion into the London market and the growth of online ordering has enabled highland fish and seafood supplier, Coast and Glen, to boost its turnover from £690,000 to £1.1m in the last financial year.

A £27,000 working capital overdraft from HSBC enabled founder, Magnus Houston, to establish a foothold in the lucrative London market and attract customers including Michelin starred restaurants, Gordon Ramsay and Wright Brothers’ restaurants. 

Before working with HSBC, coast and glen was limited to revenue streams determined by credit agreements making expansion outside of the highlands and islands nearly impossible.

The working capital overdraft also supported Coast and Glen’s desire to meet the growing demand for high-quality freshly caught fish through a subscription service delivering directly to consumers by post.

Since launching the subscription service, sales have grown by 55% in the last year, with an average of four new subscribers per day.

Houston said: “Before partnering with HSBC, we would never have been able to supply outside of the highlands and islands in the same timeframe. Now, thanks to the flexibility of finance we provide quality fish to the likes of Gordon Ramsay as well as our subscribed customers.

“HSBC understood our long-term goals of supplying down south but also that we might need to bulk buy stock at a moment’s notice, and they provided us the finance to do both.”

The finance from HSBC was allocated from the bank’s national £10 billion SME fund to actively support UK SMEs.

Of that fund, £450m is designated to support Scottish firms and rebalance the economy outside of London.

Susan Rowand, head of business banking at HSBC in Scotland, said: “Coast and Glen wanted to expand quickly but couldn’t rely solely on revenue streams determined by credit agreements to do this.

“The business demonstrated true entrepreneurialism in identifying and capitalising on individual consumer demand for fresh fish and seafood, we were more than happy to support this development of their business including their evolving financial needs.”

Coast and Glen now supplies over 200 hotels and restaurants in Scotland and London.