Sales at Fullers Frozen Foods jumped up 5.7% to £285m in 2017 from £269m, driving up profits despite cost increases.

Despite falling margins, the company grew its pre-tax profits by £6.7m to £8.2m for the year ending 31 January 2018, as a result of a fall in admin expenditure.

According the financial report, administration costs fell by more £8m for 2017-18, offsetting a 7% rise in costs.

Currency fluctuations and purchase price rises are currently key risks affecting the business, contributing to a “difficult trading environment” in the current year, it said.

On the back of growing profits, the company paid out a large dividend payment of £13m to its parent company, which resulted in shareholders’ funds dropping substantially.

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“The company has held its position in the market place with turnover increasing by 5.7% but gross margin decreasing from 11.4% to 10.2%,” the strategic report for the business said.

“The directors are satisfied with the overall performance of the company which resulted in shareholders’ funds decreasing by £6.7m to £5.3m, after a £13m dividend payment to its parent company.

“Given its involvement in the world foods markets, the company is influenced by the buoyancy of the world economy and in particular how that affects food producers and processors. At last year, the current year continues to be a difficult trading environment, but the company considers that it is well paced to meet that challenges that will arise.”

During the year, Fuller’s reclassified itself as a private limited company, but said it intends to revert back to a public limited company in the near future.