NOBLE FOODS has posted a pre-tax profit of £9.4m against sales of £317.5m in its latest financial results, accounting for the 52 weeks to 28 September.

It marks an improvement in both revenue and profitability for the firm, which recorded a £2.2m profit and sales of £305m the year before.

The cost of sales grew from £264m in 2017 to £277m in this latest financial year.

Dale Burnett, who signed the directors’ report, said the company was pleased with the results. He attributes the improved profitability to “a more stable egg market in the USA”.

He adds that directors consider Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation to be the “core KPI” of the business. The measure improved from £10.9m in 2017 to £17.7m a year later.

Principle risks are listed as “general competitive pressure” and potential outbreaks of avian influenza.

The total number of employees grew from 625 in 2017 to 644 in 2018. Directors’ emoluments totalled £1.2m.

The company paid a £5m dividend to parent company Noble Foods Holdings, which in turn paid Noble Foods Group Guernsey Limited the same amount.

In these results, the owners of the Guernsey business are listed as Michael Kent, Phase Investments and Peter Dean and the ultimate controlling parties.

Earlier this year Noble announced Michael Kent had sold his stake in the company to the Dean family and would focus on the Happy Egg US business.

John Gildersleeve, who is listed as a director in these latest results, also stood down as chairman of the business in April.