AVARA FOODS has posted profit and turnover growth in its latest financial results, despite costs associated with closing its duck business and the covid-19 pandemic.
Turnover grew 5% to £1.2bn, and pre-tax profits rose by £2m to £15.6m in the year to 31 May 2020.
The closure of the firm’s duck business cost £5.8m, a decision driven by a collapse in the export duck feather market and closure of manufacturing and food service sectors due to covid-19.
According to the directors’ report, the pandemic resulted in an ‘unprecedented’ last quarter for the firm.
“Between March and May, additional covid-related operating expenditure totalled £6m and gross margins were negatively impacted by the immediate lockdown of the foodservice sector in all its formats.
“Margins were further squeezed as trading market prices fell sharply in the face of global oversupply and increasing frozen stockholdings.”
Despite these challenges, the firm experienced strong retail sales and did not access any government funding schemes or furlough its workforce.
Andy Dawkins, chief executive at Avara Foods, said: “Despite the challenges 2020 presented, our plans remained on-track and we have delivered more value to customers than ever before – a real credit to all those who work at Avara.
“In the face of COVID-19, we invested heavily to protect the wellbeing of every single colleague and to ensure the business was stable and resilient.
“I’m proud by how we have continued to manufacture great products, maintained our high standards and strengthened our customer relationships in these most difficult of times.
“We anticipate another period of strong growth ahead – as a business, we’re agile, ambitious and well-placed to weather the uncertain market conditions created by Brexit and Covid-19.”