Inspired Pet Nutrition recorded its sales jump despite a “challenging” year for the overall pet food market, which saw sales fall 3.5% given an increasing proportion of smaller dogs in the UK.

IPN benefited from “strong growth” of its premium Harringtons brand, boosted by new product launched and investment in its manufacturing site in Wales.

During the year IPN spent £3.5m on capital products, taking total investment to £35m over the past eight years.

However, Brexit-driven raw material cost increases and vitamin supply interruption meant operating profits at Inspired Pet Nutrition fell 21.4% back to £6.5m despite the sales jump.

IPN said it had taken a “conscious decision” during the period to accept reduced margins until its had assessed “internal cost saving measures” to ensure customer price rises were minimised.

MD Richard Page commented: “The business is performing well and we are clearly seeing the benefits of the multi- million pound investment programme in production facilities at our sites in Yorkshire and Wales. We are also continuing to invest significantly in our brands with exciting new products and increased above the line marketing spend.

“The investment at our site in Wales is enabling our aggressive expansion into wet pet food with market leading quality, as evidenced by the Harringtons wet dog food range winning the dog food category at the 2019 Product of the Year Awards - the world’s largest annual consumer voted survey to identify Britain’s best-loved products.

“On the back of the significantly increased media spend, Harringtons is currently the biggest value growth contributor to the pet food category driving over £7m of growth. We have several more innovative new products under the Harringtons brand scheduled for launch during the year.

“The investment in Wales has also meant that Wagg – already the branded market leader by volume in the dry dog sector – has for the first time just entered the fast-growing wet food sector. In addition, we have been able to expand our range of pet treats and Wagg Peanut Butter Cookies was another IPN success at the 2019 Product of the Year Awards being voted the winner in the dog treat category.”