Firm suffers ‘historic losses’

BOSSES of a vegetable grower and supplier have moved to reassure staff, suppliers and customers after posting ‘historic losses’ for 2010/11.

The board of directors at the Produce World Group – which owns Marshalls in Butterwick – spoke after results showed the firm lost £11.6 million for the year ending June 30 2011.

The group says the figures are a result of a ‘normal trading loss’ of about £3.6 million and an ‘exceptional’ loss of £8 million at Produce World Marshalls.

Chief Executive William Burgess said: “Over the past few days we have been meeting with staff, suppliers, and customers to explain how these exceptional losses have occurred.

“We told them about the dramatic turnaround we have achieved in the past twelve months and that the business is now making a profit.

“These historic losses do not affect the trading position of the business today.

“In fact, the results for the first half of this financial year are good with the Group trading profitably, and Produce World Marshalls has been one of the driving forces behind this much improved financial performance for the Group during 2011/12.”

The board says its losses were a result of the difficult market conditions and cost incurred through restructuring the business after it bought Marshalls.

The firm says the costs were discovered after a review of internal accounts and investigations from PriceWaterhouseCoopers confirmed there were errors in the internal accounting procedures going back a number of years.

Produce World says there will be no redundancies as a result of the losses.