Bakkavor has announced a significant increase in turnover for 2017, but pre-tax profits fell as various costs hit the bottom line.
The fresh prepared food giant reported like-for-like revenue up 5.4 per cent at £1.8 billion, with adjusted EBITDA up 4.2 per cent at £152.6 million.
Pre-tax profits were down from £63.1m in 2016 to £39m, a decline the company put down to public listing and refinancing costs. But net debt was reduced by £100m to £266.6m.
The group pointed to a programme of significant capital investment to support ongoing growth, including construction of four key projects in the UK, US and China, as well as the further development of businesses in the US and China through stronger customer partnerships.
It added that the firm's listing on the London Stock Exchange had provided the capital to accelerate strategic investments.
Chief executive Agust Gudmundsson said: “This has been an historic year for Bakkavor. We have transformed the group, fully refinancing our lending facilities and listing on the London Stock Exchange, positioning us well for future growth. Our strong trading performance, in a highly inflationary environment, reflects both our market-leading expertise in great-tasting food and the strong strategic partnerships with our customers.
"The second half of 2017 saw volume growth impacted as UK consumers reacted to significant inflationary pressure. As expected this trend has continued into 2018 and is likely to remain until inflation eases. Later in the year, we expect our volume growth to benefit from improved market conditions and new business.
"Despite these industry-wide challenges, we are confident that our scale, track record of innovation and focus on operational efficiencies ensures we are well placed to deliver ongoing profitable growth, both from existing business and our long-term investment strategy.”