Produce World has taken a 72% pre-tax profit hit as a result of crop write-offs and increased costs.

Pre-tax profits for the company, which is a major vegetable supplier to the multiples, fell from £4.6m to £1.3m between 27 June 2009 and 2 July 2010. Turnover was down 13% to £218m.

Group CEO William Burgess said the results were not surprising given "the massive crop write-offs we had to make following the longest period of freezing weather in living memory". Produce World said its bottom line had also been hit by rising ­production costs, which it had been unable to recoup.

Produce World remained confident, Burgess said. It had recently put in place a dedicated group marketing team, signed a fresh produce licensing deal with Green Giant, made a £15m investment in its potato business and ­improved the cool chain in its brassicas business.