IN many ways it was a highly encouraging financial period for Graham’s The Family Dairy.

Revenue topped £100 million in the year to March as the Bridge of Allan-based firm introduced new products, opened new international markets and reaped the benefits if its acquisition of the Glenfield dairy in Fife.

But there were pressures, too. Ever-tightening margins in the UK dairy market were cited by the firm as its profits dipped, and it remains a long-term dilemma that shows no signs of going away.

In that regard the company’s hopes to build a new dairy and research centre in Bridge of Allan would appear to be crucial to its growth aspirations. The plans, first lodged in 2015, are currently stuck in planning limbo, having initially been refused by Stirling Council before being referred to the Scottish Government reporter.

Graham’s will be hoping for a positive outcome soon. As well as allowing it to increase production volumes, managing director Robert Graham said the facility will give it the capacity to move into products which potentially offer higher margins.

Beyond these shores, Graham’s is encouraged by the fruits of its endeavours in the international arena. As revealed by The Herald last month, the company has been holding talks with two of Spain’s biggest supermarket chains to stock its popular Protein 22 snack product, which is now already being sold elsewhere in the Europe and in the Middle East.