Scotland’s largest egg producer has hailed a “very sound performance” despite a 17% drop in profits last year.
Accounts for Glenrath Farms Limited, which is run by Sir John Campbell and his family from its base at West Linton near Peebles, reveal the company posted pre-tax profits of £4.565 million for the year to May 31 2019 – down from £5.518m the year before.
The accounts, filed with Companies House, also reveal a slight decrease in turnover to £53.17m, from £53.3m previously.
In his company report, Sir John said the company had achieved a “very sound performance” in the year.
“My long-predicted downturn for the industry is firmly with us and, given the challenges we are facing with the external factors such as Brexit and uncertainties caused by worldwide trade disputes, I am pleased with the result,” said Sir John.
He said the UK egg industry was facing large challenges as customers moved away from colony eggs, and the company incurred “significant costs” converting redundant colony houses to barn production during the year.
“With demand for colony eggs continuing to reduce, we have accelerated our conversion programme whereby the former colony production facilities are being converted to barn production in our large modern poultry houses, despite the fact that some supermarkets have discontinued selling barn eggs,” added Sir John.
“We are of the view that our principal customers will continue to operate within this sector of the market and, whilst the conversion costs are considerable, we believe our sound judgment will help us to manage this delicate and challenging situation.”
He said demand for free-range eggs continued to rise and the company planned to expand its free-range egg production.
“We have also invested heavily, and will continue to do so, in robotic machinery wherever practical,” added Sir John.
The accounts also reveal the firm’s highest-paid unnamed director took home a pay cheque of £190,723 – up from £186,875 before.