AIRDRIE-BASED potato company Albert Bartlett has unveiled a rise in turnover and profits in new accounts filed with Companies House.

It said there was growth in both the frozen and fresh aisles after it invested in an £18 million plant upgrade, partly backed by the Scottish Government, to create a chilled processing line.

The company said causes of uncertainty include a changing marketplace and Brexit’s effect on the supply chain and worker availability .

The directors said the trading performance of the company was “satisfactory” for the year to May 31, 2019.

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Turnover grew from £130.5m to £149m in 2019, reflecting growth in core fresh and frozen businesses alongside sales generated by the launch of a new chilled potato business.

Profit before tax was up from £5.1m to £5.6m, and profit after tax was £4m against was £3.9m.

Dividends of £1.3m were declared, against £500,000 last year.

It said: “The group has continued to evolve its product offering and has completed its investment in a new chilled potato processing line at our site in Airdrie.

“This £18m development was partly funded by the Scottish Government and we were proud to launch new chilled products covering both retail and food service markets in September 2019.”

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It said main risks come from uncertainties arising from the changing marketplace for retailing in the UK as well as buying preferences of consumers and their requirement for food of high quality and consistency.

“Along with all UK businesses, Brexit continues to hold some uncertainty within our supply chain as well as labour markets.”

It said: “We are always impacted by trends in weather patterns creating uncertainty in growing conditions for potatoes every year and also influences in buying patterns.”

The firm also said: “Our development into chilled potato production culminated in the launch of new product lines in September 2018 and we have plans to continue investing in this area as we see considerable opportunity to development within this expanding market. We are also expanding our horizons and developing a number of new brands and concepts.”

The company earlier won a contract to supply UK-wide supermarkets with own-label mashed potato range including cheese mash. Scotty Brand was first launched in 1948 by Albert Bartlett.