Vegetable and salad producer Huntapac Produce, headquartered in the UK, has almost doubled pre-tax profits after a strong performance. It did, however, warned people that the current financial year has brought about challenges.
Huntapac Produce was founded by William Hunter in 1942 and is now under fourth-generation ownership. Based on Preston's Blackgate Lane, it employs a workforce of about 535. For the year to 30 June 2018, the company reported turnover of £48.4m compared to £41.3m the prior period. Pre-tax profits were also up from £425,620 to £860,811.
The increase in turnover and volumes was predominantly attributed to the successful tender for the 100 per cent supply of root vegetables to an existing customer commencing in June 2017.
Looking ahead, Huntapac noted that the new ﬁnancial year has "brought further challenges" as "competition between UK retailers intensiﬁes. Prospective UK retail mergers on the horizon will undoubtedly add further pressure to price expectations," it said. "Interest rates are predicted to rise in the short to medium term, while investment in new technologies will continue as the company needs to constantly strive to keep pace with continuing price pressures by introducing more efﬁcient plant and processes.”
"The company is also looking to diversify into vegetable crisp production and prepared vegetables. The start of the ﬁnancial period was also met with ‘abnormally hot weather conditions, which has affected yield and increased irrigation costs’. Our customers have been supportive and price increases have been obtained to help mitigate the ﬁnancial effects of the adverse growing conditions.”