25 March 1999
Matthews cuts poultrymeat exports

BERNARD MATTHEWS is scaling back its unprocessed poultry exporting operations despite reporting a 19% rise in1998 pre-tax profits to £14.5 million.

The group said its commodity division, which provides meat for other processors, had seen increasing losses over the past two years.

The company increased profits despite incurring a £4.5m charge relating to the closure of its Spalding, Lincolnshire factory last September.

Profits were boosted by the strength of Bernard Matthews branded, added-value turkey products.

Branded businesses accounted for 70% of turnover in 1998 but overall sales fell from £372m to £341m, reflecting the cutback on the commodity side.