Dovecote Park, the sole supplier of beef to Waitrose, has posted a 9.8% rise in pre-tax profits as cattle price inflation slowed.

Pre-tax profits rose to £3.1m on sales up 8.2% to £106.3m in the year to 25 September 2009, according to the latest accounts at Companies House.

The retail market had remained extremely competitive but the increase in sales represented genuine volume growth as cattle prices had stabilised following their 2007/2008 rise, the directors claimed in their report submitted with the accounts.

"The management continued to place strong emphasis on controlling costs, seeking production efficiencies and maximising meat yields, and this focus has played a large part in maintaining performance."

The company had also eliminated its outstanding medium-term loan and mortgage facilities during the year, so it no longer had any structured debt.