Pre-tax profits have plunged further at Happy Egg Co owner Noble Foods as rising costs and falling egg prices hit the business.

Newly filed accounts at Companies House show pre-tax profits slumped by 78.8% in the year to 30 September 2017 on annual revenues that edged up from £327.2m to £328.4m.

The profits drop comes on top of a 32.7% dip in pre-tax profits to £5.6m in the previous financial year as sales fell to £327.2m from £450m after restructuring that saw animal feed and poultrymeats businesses transferred to fellow group companies.

Noble Foods stated in the accounts the performance was “as expected”.

“There is continuing competitive pressure which always drives us to reducing our costs and improving our efficiencies,” the group stated.

Noble, which also owns dessert brand Gü, is battling tough conditions for egg producers, with farmgate egg prices dropping by almost 18% since 2015.

The British Free Range Egg Producers Association warned in May that the industry was also suffering from Brexit-linked increases in feed costs that were pushing some smaller producers out of the industry.

Noble’s statutory profits dropped a slightly more modest 55.3% to £2.3m due to a £1.2m tax credit during the year. EBITDA for the period fell by 33.3% from £15.6m to £10.4m.

Headcount fell from an average of 787 in 2016 to 706 last year, with staff costs down 15.5% to £24.6m

Noble Foods Group CEO Dale Burnett decline to comment.