FARMING firm Graham’s the Family Dairy has recorded a significant increase in year-on-year sales, with turnover up £16.8 million to £100.5m, a rise of 20 per cent on the 2016 figure of £83.7m.

Releasing its full-year results to March 2017, Graham’s revealed a profit before tax of £1.3m, slightly down on last year’s £1.43m, a drop it said reflected challenges faced across the dairy industry. Graham’s said it is nonetheless looking forward to an exciting year with new product launches and continued overseas expansion in its sights.

Based in Bridge of Allan since 1939, Graham’s has built a logistics site in Kintore, strengthening its commitment to customers and suppliers in Aberdeenshire and Moray; invested in production capabilities; and expanded its product range. The figures reveal the full-year impact of the acquisition of Glenfield Dairy in Fife, completed in 2016, and an increase in the volumes sold to an expanding customer base.

New Product Development (NPD) continues to be a key part of Graham’s growth strategy and this year marked the dairy’s hiring of the UK’s first milk sommelier.

Graham’s is currently working in partnership with Mactaggart & Mickel Homes to deliver a 600-property housing development that would allow Graham’s to create a £20m-plus national dairy centre.

Expansion in the form of a new processing, research and development facility will help to further support Scottish dairy farmers, the company said.

Managing director Robert Graham said: “We continue to grow our partnerships with major retailers and more than half of the Scottish population now buys Graham’s products. Going forward, we will constantly innovate to expand our award-winning product range both within the UK and beyond.

“Despite the challenging backdrop of balancing supply and demand of raw milk prices, we have made significant progress in relation to key elements of our strategy.

“Our housing application with Mactaggart & Mickel will deliver our proposals for a national dairy centre which will focus heavily on R&D and innovation. The centre, the single biggest investment in Scotland’s dairy sector in 30 years, will be home to scientists, researchers and food technicians, and will help put us, and Scotland, at the forefront of change.”