Princes ad

Profits dived 22% at ambient food giant Princes last year on the back of “raw material price increases” and deflation of the pound.

The tinned food specialist saw pre-tax profits drop to £7.3m in the year to 31 March 2018, despite reporting a 7.4% jump in sales to £1.6bn.

Profitability was also weakened as a result of restructuring, which resulted in almost £8m in costs during the financial year.

In October 2018, the group announced plans to shut its Chichester manufacturing site as part of sweeping changes aimed at tackling “unprecedented” market conditions.

The company “commenced a consultation with employees” and is planning to close the Terminus Road site by the end of 2020.

“Raw material price increases and ongoing deflationary pressures have resulted in a reduction in our pre-tax profit and trading conditions remain challenging,” said a spokesman.

“We are implementing a strategic plan which prioritises employees, customers, consumers, suppliers and key stakeholders, as well as maintaining our commitment to integrity, partnership and service.”