A massive drop in profit in the first half of its financial year, on a decline in revenue, is blamed by Produce Investments plc (owners of major potato suppliers and processors Greenvale) on a combination of challenging market conditions and supply outstripping demand. The group has reported a pre-tax profit for the 26 weeks up to 27 December last year of £1.9 million compared to £5.4 million in the same period last year. Revenue in the same period fell by 9.9% to £80.8 million from £89.6 million.
The company said that while it expects the retail market to remain “challenging”, the planting of early season potatoes in Cornwall is well ahead of last year and the daffodil season has been “very encouraging with sales ahead of last year. The planted area for this season’s main potatoes has been reduced to match more closely the falling demand in the market with the major retailers reducing their prices. They said also that they are confident the company will meet market expectations for the full year.