THE executive chairman of Real Good Food Group has hailed the improvements at its Carluke-based jam and chocolate coating maker R&W Scott.

Writing in the company's annual report published yesterday, Pieter Tiotte admitted the strategy of getting R&W Scott into shape as a standalone business was still in its early stages.

However he said: "Progress is encouraging."

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R&W Scott, which employs more than 70 people, had seen its turnover dip from almost £11 million to £9.14m with operating profits reversing from £166,000 to £66,000.

However that was put down to investment in products, sales and marketing alongside an exit from some low-margin work.

The annual report said: "The transition from a manufacturing site to a standalone business is almost complete with the recruitment of local finance resource now under way. Most of the overhead increase required to make this transition has now taken place."

R&W Scott, which is headed by managing director John Easton, said the current financial year will see it start a major industrial jams and sauces contract.

There will also be retail launches in jam, sauces and chocolate spreads.

It said: "Many of these new products are being sold both in retail and business to business channels.

"An export drive is also under way focusing on the multi-packs of jam and opportunities are being sought with Real Good Food Europe."

The business is also working on a brand strategy to make more of its Scottish heritage.

The annual report showed Mr Tiotte received £139,000 for the 12 months to March 31 this year, up from £66,000.

Finance director Mike McDonough received £253,000, down from £267,000.

Alternative Investment Market-listed Real Good Food's other divisions include sugar distributor Napier Brown, bakery ingredients supplier Renshaw, dairy ingredients arm Garrett and patisserie and baking specialist Haydens.