DEVRO chief executive Peter Page yesterday swept aside any suggestion that the horsemeat scandal might affect demand for the Moodiesburn-based sausage skin maker’s products.
Page said the vast majority of sauasages were made from pork and not beef and highlighted the size of the global market in which Devro’s casings are sold.
“It’s not connected to us at all to be honest,” Page said. “It’s not something that’s linked to us or what we do as a business.
“There will always be movements in consumer demand, there will be peaks and troughs in business around the world, but, for us, I can’t see the link.”
His comments came as the FTSE 250 firm posted a 5.9 per cent rise in revenues to £241.1 million for 2012 as demand continued to rise in the Americas, Europe and Japan.
Pre-tax profits fell to £40.8m from £43m due to rising energy and raw material costs, but the firm still increased its final dividend to 5.85p from 5p, bringing the total shareholder payout up to 8.5p from 8p. Investors on the register on 7 April will receive the payout on 3 May.
Page said that the company would continue to invest “millions of pounds” into its operations in Scotland this year, on top of the £15m production line installed at its Bellshill factory over the past two years.
“Our two Scottish factories are now producing 50 per cent more volume than when I joined the company in 2007,” Page said. “About half of the products made in Scotland are exported to Europe, the United States and south-east Asia. We’ve also taken on more staff in Scotland to cope with the increased production volumes.
“There aren’t many companies that can say their sales are rising by 30 per cent in Germany, 46 per cent in Japan and 14 per cent in North America.”