A salmon farming business is creating 40 jobs as it expands to meet rising demand in Europe, America and the Far East.

The new Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) jobs will be on the Isle of Lewis, with the majority based at its processing facility in Stornoway.

The company has seen overseas exports increase in the first three months of 2014 with more than 40% of its sales going to high-end retailers and restaurateurs in France and the US and also the emerging markets of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and China.

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SSC employs more than 400 staff at 60 separate sites across the Highlands and Islands and West Coast.

Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Parliamentary Business, visited the company's sea pens on Benbecula today, ahead of tomorrow's Cabinet meeting in Stornoway.

He said: "I am delighted that these 40 new jobs have been created as the company continues its drive to capture a foothold in lucrative international markets. It is good news for the Western Isles economy.

"The Scottish Government is supporting investment to strengthen the islands' traditional industries and to grow new industries of the future. We will also support ambitious Scottish companies as they access new markets."

In the past three years, the SSC has invested £9 million in the Western Isles, spending £3.5 million with local suppliers, the Scottish Government said.

Its managing director Craig Anderson said: "We are extremely proud of the salmon we produce for customers and clients worldwide and meeting the local managers and staff, Mr FitzPatrick will get a real sense of the passion and commitment that they have for their work."