LJ FAIRBURN AND SON grew pre-tax profits to £1.9m in its most recent financial year, to 30 September 2020, up from £538,000 a year earlier.

Directors said in their strategic report that improvements to profitability followed changes made in the previous year to adapt the business to a changing environment.

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Turnover was £91m, 1% lower than a year earlier because of a small drop in egg sales, the report added.

Fairburn’s said it had invested heavily to increase rearing and laying capacity and develop its packing centre.

And in the next financial year, a “substantial” investment programme would commence in all areas of the business, with particular emphasis on packing centre automation and capacity.

Farmer suppliers

Net debt decreased from £19.2m to £17.1m ahead of the planned investment.

The directors said the firm viewed support from its producer base as ‘one of our greatest assets’.

“Despite challenging times, we endeavour to maintain margins and endure long-term sustainability and growth for all.”