Scotland’s biggest pigmeat processor, Grampian Country Pork Halls, suffered a £15.3m loss for the year ending May 31, 2006.

 

This was up from £11.3m the previous year and accounts for almost half of the £32.8m loss reported by parent company Grampian Country Food Group.

 

Two years ago, the group invested more than £16m to improve efficiencies at the company’s Broxburn plant, near Edinburgh.

 

The directors’ report stated: “While sales continue to improve year-on-year, margins continue to be under pressure due to increased pig and raw material prices. Considerable rationalisation has been undertaken on site to improve performance and efficiencies as losses were not sustainable.”

 

Group managing director, Eddie Power who was appointed in January 2006 to stem spiralling losses, said last month that the recovery strategy had seen the business return to profitability over the past six months. The company say a trading profit was achieved in the year to May, 2007.

 

“The year to May 2006, was the most difficult in the history of the group,” he said. “Adverse international conditions, together with a cumbersome and costly structure, contributed greatly to this position. However, the performance of the Group is now moving firmly in the right direction.”

 

The headquarters office in Leeds has been closed and profit responsibility returned to individual factory managers.

 

Four factories have closed and arrangements have been made for the government-backed Pension Protection Fund to take responsibility for a £100m deficit in the company’s pension fund.