Oakland Eggs has reported an operating loss of £1.96 million on turnover of £63.5 million for the year ending 31 March 2019 according to its annual report filed at Companies House.
The business, which set itself the ambitious target of becoming the largest supplier of cage-free eggs, says in the report the conversion from colony cages to cage-free egg production has led to the “biggest challenge the family business has ever faced, in adapting and developing systems fit for purpose.”
It now has 500,000 cage-free hens reared and in lay, the report says.
The company has invested £8 million in the past few years in plant and machinery. The accounts allocate £2.9 million in exceptional development costs and loss of sales during the transition to cage-free, which the firm says “has obviously impacted on financial performance.”
The directors said they were committed to leading on cage-free rearing and laying as well as continuing to invest in robotics and automation.
During the year Michael Griffiths joined the family business, alongside his brother Jonathan Griffiths, the third generation to run the egg business.
The company is planning to invest in a new egg processing business, Griffiths Family Foods, the report states.