More than a third of the 984 leading fresh produce companies have grown sales by at least 10% in the past year and are producing strong profits, according to a new report.

The Plimsoll Publishing study said a further 109 companies had achieved 10% sales growth, but this had been at the expense of profit margins. "The 366 increasingly profitable companies have either tapped into new, fast-growing revenue streams or are the best performers in the old ones," said senior analyst David Pattison.

The report identified 155 companies as losing sales and being ripe for takeover.