Investment improves margins

Lees Foods Ltd, owner of Lees of Scotland and The Waverley Bakery has announced its year end results to 31 December 2014.

Sales for the group rose to £27.4m (2013: £26.3m) with profit before tax rising 23% to £1.72m (2013: £1.4m) excluding exceptional items.

Clive Miquel, chief executive comments: “The Group performed exceptionally well during 2014. There has been solid trading across all areas of the business. The Waverley Bakery enjoyed a particularly good summer helping achieve record turnover of over £6m for the year.

“We have now completed an investment of over £1.7 million installing a brand new production line in our Coatbridge factory with ‘robots’ undertaking automatic packing for our volume teacake and snowball packs.

“As a result of an increase in efficiencies, gross margins have improved to 32.9 per cent (31.1 per cent in 2013) and the introduction of our new automation should help build upon this improvement throughout 2015, although volatility in commodity prices, especially in coconut and chocolate remains part of our everyday challenge.”

“We have increased our marketing spend to achieve greater brand visibility. We launched a new advertising campaign in April 2015, our first in over 10 years, to coincide with a targeted social media programme to engage directly with our customers. Both have delivered positively against targets and investment.

“Our new confectionery bar designs were introduced in the last quarter of 2014 and sales responded with an immediate uplift that has continued throughout this year.

“Following a successful claim against HMRC for overpaid output tax on snowballs between 2008 and 2014 the company received just over £2m, after fees and tax. This has helped finance the new line project.”

Related content

Leave a reply

Confectionery Production