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Turnover increase as Bartlett expands

Leading potato producer Albert Bartlett, which is driving new branded ranges into supermarkets, achieved significant rises in turnover and profit in the year to May 31.

Turnover at Airdrie-based Albert Bartlett & Sons jumped from £119 million to £165m and pre-tax profit from £7.73m to £9.56m, according to accounts just filed at Companies House. Growth came despite "the most difficult growing and harvesting conditions seen in over 30 years" which had led to supply shortages of potatoes and inflated prices.

"While the retail element of the UK business was extremely challenging during the year, the group benefited from growth in trading with potato processors in the UK," the directors write. Bartlett had continued to enhance its market position across own-label and branded ranges, with long-standing brand ambassadors Michel Roux Jun and Andrew Fairlie now featuring in TV advertising.

The group is expanding its Scotty Brand range, already supplied to Morrisons, Tesco and Asda, into salmon, haddock, biscuits, bacon and soups. It also achieved a listing for its Ayrshire potatoes in Waitrose's Scottish stores last summer. Scotty Brand, whose suppliers include Fife-based Kettle Produce, Perthshire soft fruit grower Bruce Farms and Aberdeenshire carrot specialist Philip Benzie, expects to hit £12m of sales for 2013.

Employees reduced from 758 to 750, and remuneration of the highest-paid director assumed to be Ronnie Bartlett rose from £993,333 to £994,429.

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