PEEBLESSHIRE'S largest private employer is continuing to crack the egg market after returning annual profits of more than £5 million.

Glenrath Farms Limited, which began as a one-woman diversification venture 60 years ago, recorded net assets of £81 million and annual turnover of £53 million during 2017/18.

John and Catherine Campbell moved into Glenrath Farm, near Lamancha, in 1959 to rear sheep and beef cattle.

Now Sir John and Lady Catherine own 5,000 acres of land.

And their company Glenrath Farms Ltd produces more than a million eggs per day as well as employing 220 people.

The Campbells, who are now in their 80s, remain leading directors of the family business.

In his latest annual report for the 12 months to May 2018, Sir John stated: "I am pleased to report on another sound financial performance, during the year our profits were £5.15 million before tax which is a reduction of 18.43 percent compared to the previous year.

"Despite the reduction I do feel given the present economic climate and market circumstances this is a very good result."

The report shows Glenrath's net assets have grown by six per cent to £81.492 million.

Although revenue had increased from the previous year so had operating and administration costs.

But Sir John added that the latest results were achieved in a very competitive market.

He said: "We claim to be perhaps one of the most successful egg production and packing companies in the UK.

"Over 80 percent of our egg sales are produced in-house, the rest are produced by our loyal contracted suppliers..

"In the market place competition continues to grow.

"Smaller packers selling to larger retailers continue to be very competitive.

"Fortunately the Group remains in a very strong position to compete in the market place and we are reacting to the challenges we face."

Colony or cage production of eggs is set to cease in the UK and the rest of Europe by 2025 with Glenrath intending to replace its current colony production with so-called barn production - a move which will cost £25 per bird.