Avara sees turnover pass £1.1bn

One of the UK’s biggest food businesses and a major employer in Telford has reported a turnover of more than £1.1 billion for the first full 12 months since it was established.

Avara has operations at the Hortonwood Industrial Estate in Telford
Avara has operations at the Hortonwood Industrial Estate in Telford

Avara, which has operations at the Hortonwood Industrial Estate in Telford, is a joint venture between Faccenda Foods and Cargill's UK fresh chicken business, and was set up in January 2018.

Newly filed accounts for the 12 months to May 31 2019 have revealed its turnover totalled £1.14 billion while its pre-tax profits were £13.7 million.

The company is a major poultry processor in the UK, supplying national supermarkets and chain restaurants with chicken, turkey and duck products.

It attributed the success to new, long term investment in facilities and automation which improved productivity and increased capacity.

CEO Andy Dawkins said: "Our first full year as Avara Foods was always going to be a period of significant change and upheaval, and the wider economic environment was a test of our resilience. Despite this, even in a tough trading period, there are strong indicators that we are on the right path.

"Demand for poultry remained firm with chicken sitting at the centre of a very competitive food retail marketplace.

"Increased volumes exposed further challenges to recruit, train and retain the people and skills required to support step changes in demand, an employment position exacerbated by the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit. This led to a short period of lower productivity and higher production across until demand re-balanced and staff turnover levels stabilised.

"However, in spite of these headwinds, the underlying strong demand has supported growth with our partner customers and stimulated new, long term investment, which improved productivity, increased primary production capacity and supported range and volume increased across BBQ, Rotisserie and Ready to Cook categories.

"The investment in our business, the support from our customers and the improving performance trend towards the end of the period are all reasons for us to be optimistic about our future."

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