Scotbeef Inverurie’s plans to build a new abattoir in the north-east have been put on hold due to the Covid-19 crisis and economic uncertainty.
The latest accounts for the company, which is jointly owned by Scotland’s largest red meat processor JW Galloway and north-east farmers’ co-operative ANM Group, revealed its plans for a new abattoir are on hold.
The company is planning to build a new abattoir, to replace its existing premises in Inverurie, at the Thainstone Business Park, on the outskirts of Inverurie.
In his report accompanying the accounts, which cover the year to March 1 2020, managing director Robbie Galloway said: “With uncertainty around Brexit and the effect it could have on economic conditions, the development of the new abattoir on land at Thainstone Business Park was put on hold.
“As the company looked to re-start this project, the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, therefore the directors have decided to keep the project in its current status, and the group will look to restart it when the economic outlook is more certain.”
The accounts, filed with Companies House, reveal an 11% increase in sales for the year. Turnover at the company was up to £68.282 million, from £61.442m previously.
The bulk of sales – £66.617m – were in the UK and sales to Europe decreased slightly to £1.665m from £1.683m previously.
The firm posted a 25.5% drop in pre-tax profits to £670,000 from £900,000 the year before.
Mr Galloway said the drop in profits was due to changes to the company’s customer base.
He said: “The company’s historic high street butcher customer base continued to shrink.
“The company has diverted more volume through wholesale channels to compensate, however these generally attract lower gross margins and volume sold to other (JW Galloway) group companies increased.”
The latest accounts for JW Galloway show a 48% drop in pre-tax profits, however sales were up 4.5% in the year.