Series of factors hit Bernard Matthews profits

Series of factors hit Bernard Matthews' profits

UK poultry producer Bernard Matthews has booked a loss of over GBP20m in its latest financial accounts.

It posted a pre-tax loss of GBP20.4m for the year to the end of June, compared to profit of GBP2m a year earlier.

The company pointed to high feed prices, poor wheat quality - which it claimed affected "bird performance" - and one-off costs from restructuring its business in Hungary.

Sales were up 1.5% at GBP346.4m.

Since the end of June, investment fund Rutland Partners has acquired a stake in Bernard Matthews.

David Joll, Bernard Matthews' executive chairman, rejoined the company in May to run the business to lead the process that led to Rutland Partners' investment.

He said the financial results were "clearly disappointing" but said Bernard Matthews was looking to return to profit in the current financial year.

"The positive news is that since our year end we have addressed many of these issues and have welcomed Rutland Partners to the business. With improved trading conditions, and the new injection of capital into the company, we have a greater level of stability and financial headroom to achieve our objective of returning to profitable growth in 2013/14," Joll said.