Dairy group Graham’s delivers hike in sales

The family-owned business has been based in Bridge of Allan since 1939. Picture: Chris Watt
The family-owned business has been based in Bridge of Allan since 1939. Picture: Chris Watt
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Graham’s the Family Dairy has flagged an “exciting year ahead” after annual turnover was given a lift thanks to fresh investment and new product launches.

The family-owned business, which has been based in Bridge of Allan since 1939, said turnover in the past financial year had risen £4.1 million to £104.1m, marking a 4 per cent increase. This reflects a “busy year” and an increase in the volumes sold to an expanding customer base.

Graham’s said that maintaining the overall balance between supply and demand in raw milk continued to provide “both opportunities and challenges”. The latest results show that while profit before tax and exceptional items was flat year-on-year at £1.3m, due to an exceptional cost item the reported pre-tax profit came in at just £400,000.

Earlier this year, Graham’s and project partner Mactaggart & Mickel Homes announced that they were to appeal a decision by Scottish ministers to refuse planning permission to a major 600-home development on the outskirts of Stirling.

The dairy firm said it had taken a “prudent view” to write these costs off this year, despite the appeal to the Court of Session – the outcome of which is still awaited.

Graham’s also highlighted investment in plant and machinery, equipment and motor vehicles representing a total capital expenditure of some £2m as it continues to expand the business and maintain an up-to-date fleet.

New product development continues to be a key part of the company’s growth strategy and early 2018 saw the launch of Icelandic dairy product Graham’s Skyr, which has gone on to achieve multiple Scottish and UK store listings.

Managing director Robert Graham said: “We continue to grow our business partnerships with major retailers and now over half the Scottish population buy Graham’s products. Going forward, we will constantly innovate to expand our award-winning product range both within the UK and beyond.

“Despite the challenging backdrop of balancing supply, demand of raw milk prices and the exceptional item of £860,000, we have made significant progress throughout the year in relation to key elements of our strategy.

“We are well positioned to take advantage of upcoming opportunities in the market place whilst at the same time looking to improve efficiency and profitability.

“Whilst we are extremely disappointed with the final decision to dismiss a planning appeal that, if successful, would have resulted in significant investment in a new dairy, we will continue to endeavour to innovate and deliver great products for the benefit of our customers, employees and our farming partners.”