TURNOVER JUMPED 18% to £102m at Preston-based Gafoor Pure Halal in the year to 30 November 2018.

Pre-tax profits also showed strong growth, up from £550,000 in its 2017/17 reporting period to £2.7m last year.

Gafoor said new customers and more birds processed per week had accounted for the increased turnover, while gross profit percentage had risen from 7% to 8.9% because of “efficiency improvement”.

“The balance sheet of the company remains in a strong position, with current assets at a ratio of 1.84:1 over current liabilities,” the directors’ report says.

The average number of employees at the firm grew from 247 to 313, something the directors said was “pleasing and demonstrates its value to the local community”.

But the report adds that Brexit had “significantly impacted the results” citing labour availability as an ongoing issue.

It also says imports from the European Union had increased, driving down poultry prices.

Gafoor said it had invested in two major research and development projects over the period; an automatic poultry filleting machine “for enhanced yield and precision” and an “Enhanced air chilling system with high moisture retention capacity”.