Scotland’s largest independent dairy company has thanked new product launches for a 5% increase in sales.
The latest accounts for Graham’s The Family Dairy reveal sales of £114,464 million for the year to March 31 2020 – up from £109,044m the year before.
The Bridge of Allan-headquartered firm, which also has processing sites in Nairn and Fife, posted a 32% drop in pre-tax profits for the year to £1.54m, from £2.26m previously.
In her report accompanying the accounts, company director Jean Graham said although Graham’s had enjoyed continued growth across its product categories with new product launches, including glass bottles, it had been an “incredibly challenging year”.
She attributed the drop in pre-tax profits to two main factors.
“The first being that the dairy market is incredibly competitive, this year particularly so,” said Mrs Graham.
“The second driver is that the group had another year of significant capital investment totalling £12.5m, which included £7.8m of property acquired, and investment at our Glenfield site of £2.7m and this capex has had a significant drag on performance.”
Mrs Graham said the acquisitions were largely funded from cash and current assets – the company’s net assets increased in value to £6.4m, from £5.8m the year before.
On the trading climate, Mrs Graham said: “In the current year to March 2021 we will have pulled back capital investment to 25% of March 2020 as we work through the uncertainty around Covid-19.
“That said, we are planning significant investment across our sites in Cowdenbeath, Nairn and Bridge of Allan from March 2021 in order to continue our product and operational innovation.”
The firm said despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis, a healthy cash balance, strong sales throughout the pandemic, and future forecasted trading expectations, meant directors were satisfied it had adequate resources to continue as a going concern for the foreseeable future.
The accounts also reveal the firm, which employed an average of 766 staff in the year, paid its highest-paid unnamed director a salary of £145,545 – down from £243,246 the year before.