Farm business plans expansion

Graham’s dips on ‘challenging conditions’

Robert GrahamA challenging trading backdrop contributed to a fall in profits and revenue at dairy firm Graham’s.

Profit before tax for the year to March 2016 was down to £1.5 million, against £1.43m last time, on a fall in sales to £83.6m compared to £86.5m. 

During the year the family-owned Stirling business acquired a new site in Fife, invested in production capabilities and expanded its product range, as well as being named number one Scottish dairy brand.

The company said the global milk market has been characterised by instability, including oversupply of and deflation.

During this period, Graham’s said it paid its farmers the highest price in Scotland, and with the market showing signs of recovery in the second part of 2016, it increased its price to farmers.

There was continued investment in plant and machinery representing a capex investment of £1.4m.  

Graham’s entered the quark market at a time of growth for the product and said it is now the leading brand in the UK. 

Investment during this time included significant spend at the Nairn dairy, from which Graham’s launched a new range of yogurts.  The dairy also relaunched its ice-cream which saw sales rise by 66%. 

Partnerships were secured with Starbucks stores across Scotland and Brakes Scotland.

Robert Graham (pictured), managing director, said: We are pleased to have delivered a solid performance during what has been an incredibly challenging time for the entire dairy industry. 

“As farmers ourselves who continue to milk our own cows, we understand the pressures farmers face and this why we continue to pay them the highest price in Scotland. We truly value the relationships we have with our 100 farming partners and are committed to continuing an open and regular dialogue to the benefit of all of our businesses going forward.

“We’re a family business at heart and our core values of farming, family, quality, heritage and provenance always ring true. 

“At Graham’s we never stand still, we’re always innovating and have exciting plans for growth, including new product development, ambitious plans to develop a new dairy processing plant in Stirling, and further expansion of the brand overseas.”

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