A “relentless focus” on lowering costs and better operating efficiency allowed poultry processor Faccenda Foods to enjoy a £4m increase in operating profit for the year to 29 April 2017.

The chicken, duck and turkey supplier, which is expected to complete a joint venture with the UK poultry arm of US meat giant Cargill in the next few weeks, saw turnover fall slightly last year, by £2.7m to £520.8m, according to latest accounts filed with Companies House.

However, EBITDA grew from £20.4m to £26.4m, while operating profit rose from £7.7m to £11.7m.

Across all poultry sectors, demand remained “extremely price sensitive”, Faccenda said. This situation was further exacerbated by agricultural commodity price inflation and weakness in sterling towards the end of the trading period.

The business also faced challenges from feed cost inflation resulting in higher selling prices, according to its annual report. However, other inflationary pressures were offset by a year-on-year improvement in yield and productivity, which led to an increase in Faccenda’s gross profit margin from 10.5% in 2016 to 11.6%.

Faccenda MD Andy Dawkins told The Grocer “getting the basics right” had allowed the business to maintain sustainable margins.

“Our performance is all from in-house operating improvements rather than going to the market for more money. Our customers are constantly challenging us to invest with them, support them and grow with them,” Dawkins added.