GLENRATH Farms, the UK’s largest producer of free-range eggs, has enjoyed bumper profits on the back of a ban on battery production.
The family-owned company said that the price of lower grades of eggs had risen from 7.5p to £1.10 a dozen at one point following the introduction of a European Union directive on density of laying hens.
Chairman John Campbell said although imported battery eggs were continuing to enter the UK market, the West Linton company was “fortunate” that the major supermarkets it supplies were committed to purchasing from domestic producers.
Sales in the year to 31 May rose 17 per cent to £50.5 million while pre-tax profits soared 71 per cent to just over £8m. Net assets rose 14 per cent to £47.9m.
Campbell, listed as the 73rd richest businessman in Scotland in the latest Sunday Times Rich List, said the company had invested almost £50m since 2000 including the purchase of a 300 acre farm in Peebles last year.
“The directors are confident that this investment puts the company in a strong position to face the challenges currently being faced and expected in the market place,” he said.
Campbell said he was “extremely pleased” by the success of the launch of egg brands including Kitty Campbell which he said had made a significant contribution to raising the company’s profile. He added Glenrath was continuing to look at opportunities for expansion.