FAMILY-owned Glenrath Farms has remained in a strong financial position in spite of higher feed prices and the acquisition of a new site contributing to a 4% fall in profits.

Turnover at the largest free range egg producer in Europe increased 11% from £50.5 million to £56m in the 12 months to May 31, 2013.

But annual accounts for the West Linton, Peebleshire business, filed at Companies House show pre-tax profits fell from £8m to £7.7m.

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Writing in the accounts chairman John Campbell said other factors in the "slight" drop in profits included modernisation of existing sites and depreciation charges for fixed assets.

He said Grimmet Farm in Ayrshire had reported a loss in its first year of trading but "strongly" expects it to report profits in future years.

Mr Campbell, who began working at Glenrath Farm in 1959 with wife Cathy, said: "The directors continue to have a long term commitment to business expansion and re-investment in the company's existing assets and operations."

In his chairman's statement he pointed out an extension to an egg packing station had been completed during the year.

He said: "We believe [this] contributes to increased efficiencies and provides us with one of the most efficient and modern systems in the UK and possibly Europe.

"We have also accelerated other projects and see our future investment as being principally in barn and free range eggs.

"For example almost all of our old hen houses are now refurbished and we will complete the remainder in the near future."

Mr Campbell, whose son Ian is the current Glenrath managing director, went on to say the company hopes to have a new egg processing plant at the Millennium Farm site in the Borders competed and operational this year.

Glenrath, which supplies to the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury's, is also looking into a wind energy development project which it expects to begin work in 2014.

Mr Campbell said the business had invested more than £50m since the turn of the century and added: "The directors continue to consider their options across all aspects of the supply chain, which includes being committed to the acquisition of property where we consider that it adds to the company's existing operations."

The accounts recorded a payment of close to £5.6m to acquire tangible assets in the financial year.

Directors' remuneration rose sharply from £341,446 to £626,777 with the highest paid seeing a hike from £80,014 to £222,000.

Average staff numbers grew by 10 to 227 with employee costs up from £4.2m to more than £4.6m.

The company increased its net funds by £1.6m in the year to close the financial period with almost £16.7m.

Mr Campbell's granddaughters - Amy, Kitty and Lorna - are now the latest generation of the family to work in the business.

The free range Kitty Campbell's egg brand was launched in 2011 following discussions between the sisters.