Pork giant Karro Food Group is predicting it will achieve profitability this year after cutting losses during its first year as an independent company.

The group’s 2013 results revealed a £10m improvement in EBITDA on turnover of £533m.

This still leaves Karro £3.3m short of breaking even, but executive chairman Di Walker said it was making “extremely good progress” on its five-year turnaround plan, despite “an extremely tough pork market characterised by margin pressures and escalating raw material costs.”

Walker added the company - which was created from the former pork division of Vion UK in a management buyout in December 2012 - was “well on track to deliver a further £10m EBITDA improvement in 2014,” which would see the group generate a profit.

The processor is to focus on the ongoing development of strategic retail and trade partnerships during the next 12 months, said Walker, with the “expansion of our export business” a priority.

Its stratetic plan was bolstered by a £60m funding package from GE Capital, allowing it to expand its retail, foodservice and customer bases during 2013. The company also invested in manufacturing, ploughing £2m into Bacon slicing facilities in Scunthorpe, and £500,000 in an upgrade to a gammon processing line at its Malton site.

“We now have the right foundations in place to operate an efficient business, based on strong partnerships with customers and our farming suppliers,” said Walker.