Northern Ireland

Poultry company Moy Park makes £24m profit

Image caption Moy Park took in over £1bn in sales last year

Northern Ireland's largest private sector employer, Moy Park, made a pre-tax profit of £24m in 2012.

The figure is £20m more than it made in 2011, largely because of a big boost in sales to supermarkets.

Last year Moy Park took in over £1bn in sales - £17m more than the previous year - supplying chicken products to a number of major supermarkets.

It now supplies all Waitrose's own brand chicken products and all of Tesco's chicken sold locally.

Since the horsemeat crisis, supermarkets have come under increasing pressure to ensure they can trace their products, and to source locally.

It is this switch in policy by large supermarkets which has given Moy Park such a boost, as all of the packets leaving their production line come with a UK poultry guarantee.

Strong results from Moy Park have boosted the results of its Brazilian parent company Marfrig. Its accounts say that the stated ambition of many UK retailers to source their meat locally "presents opportunities in the market".

Another part of the increase in profit was also down to the fact that grain was so expensive in 2011, but fell in price last year.

Because Moy Park manages the supply of grain to its farms, in order to have greater quality control, it is more vulnerable to fluctuations in international grain prices.

The director's report states that they are "consistently conscious of feed cost volatility and the difficulties it poses to the whole supply chain".

The Moy Park accounts state the company paid £7m in corporation tax in 2012, and now employ 8,449 people across Northern Ireland, England and France.

The directors of the company say that "Moy Park is pleased with the trading progress made in the current year to date and we look forward to the future with continued confidence".

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