Losses mount at Bernard Matthews

Leading turkey producer Bernard Matthews has posted pre-tax losses of more than £20m for its last financial year, blaming high feed prices and poor bird performance.

Group sales for the year to 30 June 2013 were actually up marginally at £346.4m. But the company made an operating loss of £11.7m, and a pre-tax loss of £20.4m after exceptional charges.

This compared with a small profit of £2m in 2012, following another loss-making period in 2011.

“These are clearly disappointing results,” said executive chairman David Joll. “The company has incurred these losses for a combination of reasons which include significant increases in global grain prices and poor wheat quality impacting bird performance.”

One-off costs of £4.3m associated with the restructuring of the SáGa Foods subsidiary in Hungary also hit profitability.

But Mr Joll insisted that, since the year end, Bernard Matthews has addressed many of these issues and has also taken on business turnaround specialist Rutland Partners, which has put in more than £20m and gained two seats on the board.

“With improved trading conditions, and the new injection of capital into the company, we have a greater level of stability and financial headroom to achieve our objective of returning to profitable growth in 2013-14,” said Mr Joll.

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