Produce Investments, the UK-listed potato supplier, today (29 September) hailed its “robust” performance in a year in which its operating earnings grew 14% but its bottom line was hit by costs from a site closure and a product renewal.

The company posted profit of GBP3.3m (US$4.3m) in the 12 months to 25 June, down from GBP5.6m a year earlier.

Produce Investments ran up exceptional charges of GBP4.6m from the closure of a site in Kent and a recall of potato products after traces of metal were found.

Operating profit before interest, tax, exceptional items and dividends stood at GBP9.2m, compared to GBP8m in the previous financial year.

Revenue grew 3.7% to GBP185.1m.

Chief executive Angus Armstrong said he was “pleased” Produce Investments had “delivered a robust performance”, with a “significant increase” in its operating profit.

Looking ahead, he added: “The board expects market conditions to remain challenging in the near term. However, with our continued focus on operational efficiencies and improving the supply chain with retailers, we are well placed to deal with these pressures. We remain confident that Produce Investments is in a strong position to grow and take advantage of any acquisition opportunities which may arise.”