A turnover surge of more than £80 mln at the UK arm of the French food giant behind the Florette brand, occurred after three businesses were transferred to its control.
Agrial Fresh Produce, formerly Florette UK and Ireland, has reported a turnover of £127m for the year to 31 December 2018, up from £46.4m in the prior 12 months. However it also made a pre-tax loss of £3.2m after making a profit of £1.5m in 2017.
In July 2016 the company completed the acquisition of Axgro Foods, a supplier of prepared beetroot products, while in August 2017 it snapped up Hazeldene Foods which makes salad and vegetable products. The group also contains Salads to Go.
A statement signed off by the board said: "The company's results reflect a series of significant internal changes and external events that have made the financial year particularly challenging. The results for the financial year are the first to include the trading performance of the three businesses transferred to the company on 31 December 2017. The increase in turnover is largely attributable to the inclusion of these additional manufacturing facilities."
According to an article on insidermedia.com, the business added that its results were impacted by the higher cost of raw materials from European suppliers, with the weather in the UK and across the continent having a "dramatic" effect on it, punishing performance and hampering the launch of a new product range. The group's UK division employs 300 people in the Lichfield area and first opened in the town in 1999.