Profits halved at Lurgan meat firm but the mood is still upbeat
A meat firm that supplies some of the biggest supermarkets has said that the industry is facing "challenging circumstances" after it saw its pre-tax profits almost halved.
Lurgan-based Bawnbua Foods saw turnover fall from £56m to £52.6m, according to the latest accounts ending January 31, 2017.
During the same period pre-tax profits were down from from £1.19m to £709,000.
Bawnbua Foods, which was previously known as Eurostock Foods, is led by Gary White.
It has invested in two new meat plants over the last few years.
"Capital investment continued to be made this financial year and this, together with previous investments, allows the group to maintain customer satisfaction," the company said in the latest accounts.
"The directors are confident that this investment will place the group in a strong position to capitalise and strengthen on its position in supplying the leading names in retail food service and manufacturing sectors throughout the UK, as well as the ability to develop new market opportunities.
"The directors are satisfied with results for the year in a market which is becoming increasingly competitive, and in which it is facing challenging circumstances.
"Increased costs of raw materials continue to bring challenges for the business, but the directors are confident that margins can be maintained.
"They are committed to long-term creation of shareholder value, by increasing the group's market share through organic growth, combined with improvements in buying, stock management and overhead cost savings."
According to the accounts, the company has increased its average workforce from 180 to 192.
In April the rebranded Co Armagh operation said it would be taking on more staff after landing £10m in new contracts.