Fresh produce supplier A G Thames Group has seen a significant uptick in its soft fruit businesses during 2016.
During this period, overall Group turnover was up by 1.2% on continuing operations.
Pre-tax profits also increased by £2.8 million due to efficiency savings and the non-recurrence of last year’s impairment costs.
The Kent-based company has seen its soft fruit sales rise in its second consecutive year by 18 million – a 26% increase.
This growth underlines the recent announcement that UK berry sales now equate to a fifth of total fruit consumption in the UK.
Group Chairman Leon Aichen said the business had responded to competitive market conditions and implemented efficiency savings to help reduce costs for 2016.
“The key drivers of our sales growth this year include the continued success of the raspberry variety Adelita which has recorded another year of really strong growth, as well as increased consumer demand for blueberries which have seen continued market growth since their superfood health messaging hit a chord with UK consumers,” Leon said.
He added: “The board is satisfied with A G Thames’ performance for 2016 and will continue to focus on improving efficiency across the business whilst maintaining the delivery of high-quality fresh fruit and services for our customers.
“Following an in-depth review of its produce supply chain, our largest customer has confirmed A G Thames as one of its major fresh fruit suppliers in the new supply model. While we are encouraged by the outcome, we are expecting turnover and profit to fall due to the structure of the new model.”