Perthshire butcher Simon Howie has seen profits grow as the firm continues to invest in new plant and products.
Turnover at the firm grew from £15.8 million in 2018, to £16.4m for the year ending December 31 2019.
Pre-tax profits also increased from £2.1m, to £2.5m over the reporting period.
Mr Howie said 2019 had been a good year and the firm was doing its “very best” to serve customers during the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past six months.
The results are set against an international backdrop which saw meat from the UK shipped in huge quantities to the far east amid a global demand for protein which added cost pressures on European producers.
In January, the firm which has a workforce of 114, announced it had secured a six-figure deal with Tesco, which put Simon Howie haggis in premium shelf positions across the retailing giant’s 776 stores in England and Wales for the first time.
Mr Howie said the haggis is a niche part of the business, while sales of bacon , sausages and other products throughout the UK via national supermarkets made up a larger share.
The company also supplies around 100 hotels and restaurants.
“We continue to invest in broadening our product range, especially in the vegetarian range, which currently makes up around 15% of the business and gluten free sectors, so research and development investment is important.
“We have also spent £1 million pounds on a new bacon slicing line that reduces the need for handling and packaging.”
The company is also placing a strong focus on alternative sources of packaging materials
The firm’s rural location and large factory premises which were first constructed in 1997 and have been extensively added to in subsequent years, meant the company has been able to continue production and maintain social distancing during the pandemic.
In the annual report published at Companies House, Mr Howie pointed to increases in labour costs, along with packaging and utility cost hikes, which “make the running of the business as challenging as ever.”
“Innovative techniques and the most up to date equipment are the proven ways to be competitive against our larger rivals, “ he added.
“We have been working to support our hotel and restaurant customers over the past four months, but supermarket work has kept us busy.
Wages and associated costs rose from £2.5m, to £2.7m in 2019.
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