The UK arm of potato giant McCain saw a 19.5% jump in sales last year, but profits were flat as margins declined amid elevated costs and weather challenges.

Recently filed accounts for McCain Foods GB showed the frozen potato specialist grew overall sales to a record £712.6m during the year to 30 June 2023.

The group said it experienced sales growth across its home and out-of-home segments, while seeing higher contract pricing in line with indexation and supplementing high energy costs for its growers.

It noted that the year saw “multiple challenges” across the supply chain, impacting costs and supply.

Farmers faced weather-related challenges throughout the growing season due to summer drought, while facing increased pressure from rising input costs, most notably fuel and fertilisers.

As a result of the elevated cost of potatoes, margin fell back, resulting in operating profits edging up to £78.4m from £76.4m.

“We’re proud to report positive sales growth this year whilst navigating multiple challenges including increasing weather-related events and rising input costs,” said a McCain spokesperson.

“We worked to mitigate the impact of these challenges, ensuring our products remain accessible to our customers and consumers whilst continuing to invest for the future.

“We are seeing the benefits of our £170m investment into our Scarborough production facility, which is now contributing to overall business performance.”

McCain also continues to invest in its business via acquisition, announcing last week it had taken full control of plant-based frozen food company Strong Roots for an undisclosed sum, with plans to expand its offering and drive global growth.

The spokesperson added: “The impact of external challenges, such as inflation and climatic events, remains unpredictable, but our priority looking forward continues to be our investment in the long-term sustainability of British agriculture and wider industry, as well as supporting our colleagues, customers, and local communities.”