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Potato company boss reaps £4m pay cheque

Rooster potatoes are part of the Albert Bartlett brand
Rooster potatoes are part of the Albert Bartlett brand

The chief of Scotland’s largest tattie processor raked in more than £4million last year.

Accounts for Airdrie-based Bartlett International Holdings reveal the firm’s sole director, Ronnie Bartlett, took home a pay cheque of £1,036,568 and a dividend of £3.06million for the year ending May 31, 2015. This compares to pay of £977,270 and a dividend of £2.16million the year before.

According to the accounts, which were filed with Companies House, turnover and pre-tax profits were down in the year. Turnover was down 17% to £144.569million, from £174.485million previously, while pre-tax profits were down 26% to £8.484million from £11.45million.

Sales in the UK were down 20% to £137.181million, however sales to the rest of Europe were up 568% to £340,721 and sales to the rest of the world were up 105% to £7.047million.

In his director’s report, Mr Bartlett said the results were satisfactory given the challenging market conditions experienced in the year. “The exceptional growing season in 2014 led to high yields of potatoes, generating a large oversupply of crop and resulted in deflationary pressures which have been particularly acute in the UK market,” said Mr Bartlett.

“While the trading environment presents challenges, the group continues to develop and promote the Albert Bartlett brand and remains fully committed to the development and success of our exclusive premium varieties and our own label offering.”

He said the group had achieved growth in US markets and the Middle East, however it had ceased operations at its Amalgrow farming business in Jersey as it was no longer sustainable. The business will now focus on the packing and promotion of Jersey Royals and property ownership.

Mr Bartlett said the group would continue to develop the Scotty brand. He said the company had bought a frozen-potato processing facility and launched three lines of Albert Bartlett frozen chips and roast potatoes.

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