AP Jess, the Scottish meat wholesale and processing business, increased profits 12% in the latest financial year amid challenging conditions for the sector, it has been revealed.

Accounts for AP Jess show the family-owned company made £406,564 pre-tax profit in the year to March 2012, compared with £364,317 in the preceding period.

Writing in the accounts, directors noted the company has started work under a contract to kill pigs for Tulip, the pork and bacon products giant, which they said will be profitable and secures the future of the company's Brechin plant in the medium term.

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By contrast, Vion is closing the giant Hall's pig-processing plant at Broxburn, West Lothian, with the loss of around 1700 jobs.

"The industry does not have its troubles to seek. There have been some well-publicised casualties within the industry," wrote the directors of AP Jess in the accounts.

The directors said the group's fish oil company continues to be its strongest performer. They added: "The food companies are improving but this is a long, hard climb."