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Turnover for the company was up 5.6% to £131.5m in the 12 months to 31 October 2020, while operating profit grew 15% to £2.7m.

In a statement issued with the results, Norwest said: “The financial year produced a modest increase in sales despite the reduction in many commodity prices, but the company successfully increased gross margins.

“The increase was mostly achieved by focusing on expanding exports to Asian markets, together with our increasing range of added-value products.”

Meat exports

Cheshire-based Norwest sells fresh and frozen beef, lamb, pork and poultry products across Europe, Asia and Africa and has operations in Ireland, Poland, Spain, Bulgaria and Romania.

Success for the business in 2020 came despite volatility caused by the Brexit vote and the outbreak of COVID-19. On Brexit, Norwest said there was still no clear understanding of the risks created by the UK’s exit from the EU, but it was prepared to capitalise on the advantages it might provide.

Commenting on the pandemic, the report said: “The company has seen many changes during 2020/21 as the COVID-19 outbreak develops.

“The directors continue to risk assess and take all relevant measures for the staff (like social distancing and home working) to ensure health and safety is the highest priority.

Continued success in 2021

“The company closely monitors government policy and by using latest technology successfully coordinates communication with its staff, customers and suppliers. The company performed well this year and this success is fully expected to continue into the subsequent year.”

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