PD Hook has reported a fall in operating profit to £18 million in the year to 31 October 2019, down from £20 million the year before.
The business said this reflected “intense price pressure in the market and the need to absorb cost within the business”. Higher costs of key commodities and higher payroll costs, contributed, the directors said, in the latest annual strategic report filed with Companies House.
The company has 100 farms and eight hatcheries across the UK, supplying day old chicks and rearing parent stock and broilers.
Turnover for the year rose to £185.3 million, up from £180.1 million the previous year. Profit before tax was £16.8 million, down from £19.8 million the year before.
Director James Hook said in the report there was “positive demand for British poultry despite some of the recent changes in consumer trends towards veganism.” However, he said it was a difficult trading environment. “We have faced increasing margin pressures, not least because of the intense competition between retailers themselves.”
He added there were ongoing issues with recruiting and training good staff. “The pool of available labour has reduced and a number of migrant workers have chosen to return to their native homes. The business has continued to enhance its remuneration and training package to attract staff.”