Fife-based vegetable producer and processor Kettle Produce saw turnover and profits increase last year.
However, the supermarket supplier said it is cautious about its prospects for the current year given challenging weather conditions that impacted on its farming operations and the impact of the wider uncertainty facing the UK economy.
New filings at Companies House show the business – which employed more than 1,1,00 staff across its various operations last year – generated sales of £138.3 million in the year to June 2, a £10m uplift on the prior year.
Pre-tax profits came in at £4.65m, up from the £2.54m booked 12 months earlier. While sales were strong, the rate of growth slowed from 13% in 2017 to 8% last year.
Kettle Produce was founded by two Scottish farming families in the 1970s and produces 100,000 tonnes of fresh root vegetables, green vegetables and salad crops each year from its sites at Orkie near Freuchie, and Balmalcolm near Cupar.
In addition, the business has a joint venture in Murcia, Spain, which operates several strategic supply partnerships with major growers in England, France, Spain and Portugal
Financial director and company secretary Liz Waugh said favourable growing conditions and efficient production had boosted the company’s operations.
“Our growth in the last financial period was strongly linked to a number of one-off opportunities, which were not initially apparent when setting our annual targets, and these opportunities had a positive impact on margins,” she said.
However, in her strategic report to the accounts, Ms Waugh said “extreme weather conditions” during the planting and establishment of current season crops was likely to impact on trading and the board had “amended their business performance forecast to a more prudent position for the 2019 financial year” as a result.