In a half-year results statement, the business said its UK segment generated revenue of £382.4M in the latest financial quarter, representing a six percent increase in like-for-like terms on the same period in 2012.
“Sales growth was driven by business wins in categories such as salads, soups, pizzas and desserts, coupled with a strong seasonal launch programme during the quarter.”
It also reported a recovery in chilled ready meals after the category had been hit by the horsemeat scandal earlier this year, although Bakkavör was not implicated in the issue.
Following the incident, in which horse DNA was discovered in beef-based convenience foods from a range of retailers and manufacturers, many companies reported sales of chilled ready meals down.
‘Limited recovery in ready meal sales’
However, Bakkavör stated: “In line with the market, we are seeing a limited recovery in ready meal sales following … the horsemeat contamination issue …”
It added “we are continuing to work very closely with our customers to re-establish consumer confidence in this sector”.
Some of its overall growth had come from the successful launch and refresh of more than 500 products in the last quarter. “Included in these launches were new food-to-go salad options, spring and summer flavours in our soup ranges and new flavours to our dips and dressings,” it stated.
The firm had used the £14.5M net profit gained from the sale of its French and Spanish businesses earlier in the year to pay off debt, it said. This, in tandem with securing a refinancing package in June covering debt, had put it in a strong position for future development, it said.
Bakkavör said it had restructured its Belgian and Czech Republic businesses to focus on local markets.
The company reported half-year pre-tax profit up 820%, from £1.5M to £13.9M, on sales up 4%, from £792.9M to £821.4M.
“We have continued to make good progress in the second quarter with strong revenue growth, increased profits and improved cash generation,” said ceo Agust Gudmundsson.
“Whilst we expect trading conditions to remain challenging due to inflationary headwinds, a competitive retail environment and ongoing pressures on household budgets, we remain confident in our strategy and our market leading position in the chilled convenience market.”