PD HOOK (GROUP) has reported turnover growth in its latest financial results, but pre-tax profits were lower when compared with the year before
Sales were up to £185m in the 12 months to 31 October 2019, compared with £181m in the same period a year earlier.
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Pre-tax profits were £16.8m in 2018/19, down from £19.8m in 2017/18.
The sales growth was attributed to improved market share, while the lower profits were put down to rising costs – notably “key commodities utilised” and higher payroll costs.
Directors said the business had remained “healthy” throughout the year, with a positive demand for British poultrymeat, despite some consumer trends towards veganism.
“This reflects the continuing popularity and attractiveness of chicken and turkey as healthy, versatile and low-cost sources of protein,” the firm’s strategic report says.
It adds, however, that margin pressure had grown because of a competitive retail environment.
Other challenges include the post-Brexit business environment. “Whilst the long period of uncertainty over Brexit is over much remains to be done by the UK government and the implications, which could be significant, are uncertain and poorly understood.”
Labour also remains a challenge, with migrant workers returning to their native homes. In response, PD Hook said it had enhanced remuneration and training to attract and retain staff.
Over the year, the group invested £13m in capital programmes across farm and hatchery assets.
It also invested in acquiring new sites and refurbishing others to expand breeder and rearing farms.
The strategic report concludes that the outlook feels positive, with strong demand for British chicks and chicken. “As such, the directors are of the opinion that our business model is robust enough to see us through the next stage of our development.”