THE eponymous butcher business run by entrepreneur Simon Howie has seen pre-tax profits climb eight per cent to £2.7 million on revenue up 4.8 per cent to £15.4m.

But Mr Howie warned that the current year would see the business face increasing challenges from cost increases across the supply chain.

Writing in accounts newly filed at Companies House, Mr Howie said trading conditions in 2016 had been similar to the previous year but it had nevertheless been an “exciting year” for the business.

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“Sales growth was achieved yet we sold product at lower prices than in the past five years. A reduction in raw material costs allowed us to pass on some significant price reductions to our customers and, similarly, any increases in overheads were absorbed.”

Simon Howie supplies all major supermarkets and a number of restaurants and hotels.

The return on capital employed increased by a single percentage point to 36 per cent. Mr Howie said the company was increasingly profitable and planned to retain profits to invest in operational improvements to maintain margins.

He added: “The current 2017 year will likely be a very different outcome as we now see costs rising significantly both on raw materials and overheads.”

He noted the steady increase in labour costs coupled with hikes in packaging and utility costs, meant that business would endeavour to implement new systems and procedures to improve efficiency.

Mr Howie established his butchery business in 1986 before branching out into other sectors. Findony, the parent company of Simon Howie has interests covering commercial property, energy and estate agents.

He has previously outlined a strategy to double the size of the butchers business by expanding into the wider England market.