Stirlingshire firm plans expansion
Graham blasts ‘crazy’ buyers of imported dairy products
Dairy boss Robert Graham has described as “crazy” consumers who buy imports when there is so much production in the UK.
Unveiling annual results showing a rise in profit and turnover, Mr Graham (above right), said his business was determined to build on its success in Scotland by expanding south of the border.
Graham’s has expanded its dairy, acquired businesses and launched a number of products which have seen it take market leading positions for some of its brands.
“It’s been an excellent year but we’re not complacent and there’s much we still need to do,” said Mr Graham. “To us it’s crazy that so much dairy produce bought within the UK isn’t actually made here. Those sales don’t benefit our local farmers and the extra mileage is no good for the environment either. It makes much more sense to back Scottish businesses and so that message will form a critical part of our plans next year.
He added: “We’re a family business at heart and our core values of farming, family, quality, heritage and provenance always ring true. We truly value the relationships we have with our 98 farmers and understand the pressures they are facing, which is why we continue to pay them the highest price in the UK.
“We are proud of what we’ve achieved and the numbers are strong, but we want our margins to be stronger next year and in the years beyond, which is why we’ve invested so heavily in the business throughout 2015 – improving efficiencies and encouraging future growth.
“We are ambitious and have an eye to expanding our range across the UK and further afield, which will make for an interesting and exciting time in 2016.”
More than half of Scotland’s population currently buy Graham’s products. Sales for the year have increased to £86.5 million (2014: £85m) with pre-tax profit also rising to £1.6m.
Capital expenditure of £5m has included the dairy at Bridge of Allan and the acquisition of the Glenfield Dairy site in Fife from First Milk, which was announced last month.
The company will look to increase its margins in 2016 by increasing sales of its added value range of products, which will help fund an increase in marketing activity to boost awareness. Activity in 2015 included a broadcast commercial; media spend on TV, cinema, press and outdoor; an ice-cream event series; and a renewed emphasis on digital channels. This approach will continue, with new partnerships to be announced in the New Year.
Carol Graham, marketing director, said: “Our vision is clear. We want to be the dairy brand of choice – and this year, we took a big step towards that goal. Our range is delivered to over 6,000 customers, our sales have continued to grow and it was a particular highlight to become Scotland’s favourite dairy brand. To see our name up there with some of the country’s oldest and best-loved companies was a much-appreciated recognition of our hard work.”