Vegetable supplier Kettle Produce has reported continued sales growth as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
The Fife firm said that in the 12 months to the end of May, turnover increased by 12.5 per cent year-on-year to £113.6 million, generating an after-tax profit of £1.7m.
Since it was founded in 1976, Kettle Produce has grown from a local supplier to become one of the UK’s biggest providers of fresh produce to wholesalers and major retailers. It employs about 1,000 staff.
The firm’s turnover in 1976-77 was £185,000, in 1986-87 it had risen to £6.1m and by 2006-7 sales hit £73m.
In her yearly report, financial director Liz Waugh cited new sales lines, the availability of ample raw produce and the ability to exploit new and existing markets as key contributing factors to the company’s success.
She said: “As is being seen across mainland Europe at the moment, growing conditions are variable and affected by weather. This can have a significant impact on operational costs and crop yield.
“However, this last financial year proved to be a favourable one for Kettle Produce. We were able to benefit from ample good quality raw materials. In turn, this has allowed for efficient production practices which has further benefited trading.”
Looking forward and considering the financial year to date, Waugh noted that “trading in the new year is currently ahead of budget and the board is confident that our year-end targets will be achieved”.
Kettle produces some 100,000 tonnes of fresh root vegetables, green vegetables and salad crops each year from its sites at Orkie near Freuchie, and Balmalcolm near Cupar.