Gael Force Group has scooped the honour of Outstanding Performing Business (25+ employees) at the annual Highland Business Awards in Inverness - the second year running that the aquaculture equipment, technology and services supplier has picked up the prestigious award.
At a glittering ceremony in the Drumossie Hotel on Friday 28th September, the 2018 Highland Business Awards celebrated the achievements of a range of businesses and individuals across the Highlands.
Last week, accounts posted for the Group revealed a near £7m rise in turnover for 2017, and around a fourfold increase in pre-tax profits to £1.6m. In April 2018, Gael Force successfully acquired a 75% majority share in Fusion Marine Ltd. in Oban, further adding to their breadth of product, geographical reach and highly skilled workforce.
Production Director Stephen Offord, who collected the award, commented after the ceremony, "To win this award for the second year running is a magnificent achievement and acknowledgement of the enormous progress our business has made in the past two years. Across our highly skilled teams, we are aligned in our values and strategic objectives, and this will continue to drive us to deliver trusted product and services for our customers.”
He continued, “Of course, a special thanks go to the many customers we deal with, without which we could not have won this award again.”
There was also success for owner and Managing Director, Stewart Graham, as he was crowned Business Leader of the Year. Stewart’s leadership in driving the Scottish Aquaculture Vision for Growth to 2030 strategy was acknowledged as a defining factor in winning the accolade in a strong field. Son and daughter, Craig and Rhiann were on hand to collect the award on their father’s behalf while he was in Canada promoting the business’ plans for inward investment in the Newfoundland’s aquaculture industry at Cold Harvest.
The award adds to his win at the Scottish Marine Aquaculture Awards earlier this year where he received the honour of Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award.
Commenting on his win, Stewart Graham said, “I am truly honoured to be awarded Highland Business Leader of the Year and very grateful for the recognition it brings. The backing I have received from our team at Gael Force to deliver on our Business Objectives, with support from the wider aquaculture industry has enabled me to drive Vision 2030 strategy and Co-chair the Aquaculture Leadership Group alongside my day job as Group Managing Director at Gael Force. Without that support, it would have been challenging to commit wholeheartedly to those leadership roles.”