Dr Oetker’s UK profits rise to £15.5M

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Frozen food sector Supermarket

Dr Oetker's sales rise in tough market
Dr Oetker has boosted its pre-tax profits to £15.5M for the year ending December 31 2014, despite tough trading conditions.

The manufacturer of Ristorante frozen pizzas and home baking products increased its sales by 5% to £154.8M for the same period, after reporting losses of £2M for the same period in 2013.

Md Doris Abeln said: “The ambient and frozen markets continue to be highly competitive marketplaces within the UK and Irish retail grocery and foodservice sectors.

“There continues to be significant focus on own-label within the major multiples, which when combined with increased demands for more frequent and deeper promotional support and coupled with a slowing in the development of the grocery market, means a very tough trading environment.”

Increased success

Dr Oetker in figures

  • £15.5M pre-tax profits
  • 5% sales increase to £154M
  • £2M loss last year
  • About 500 UK employees

The increased success and influence of the discounters, online activity, and convenience shopping in the UK and Irish grocery market had also increased the competition, Abeln added.

Dr Oetker, which has its global headquarters in Germany, employed about 500 people in its Leeds head office and its manufacturing facility in Leyland, Lancashire.

Figures had been affected by the manufacturer’s acquisitions of the Leeds food company Supercook UK in 2008 and Schwan’s Consumer Brands in 2009.

UK md Peter Franks told FoodManufacture.co.uk last year that the frozen food category was desperately​ in need of a revamp.

‘Stale, lifeless and cold’

Consumers found the category “stale, lifeless and cold” ​and its integrity had been tainted by the 2013 horsemeat scandal.

“Sales have almost returned to what they were before the scandal,” ​he said. “But consumers want something new and they want to see change in the frozen food sector, which we need to give them.”

It was also time for the frozen food sector to target high-end retailers with more ferocity and through new product development.

“There’s no reason why they shouldn’t target Waitrose shoppers,” ​Franks added. “You have to find ways of becoming relevant to different classes who want different things.”

Related topics Frozen

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