Giant Crumpets boost Warburtons’ profits

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Giant Crumpets helped boost Warburtons’ profits last year
Giant Crumpets helped boost Warburtons’ profits last year
Warburtons posted a 2.3% increase in operating profit to £35.5M last year, boosted by sales of its Giant Crumpets, while overall turnover fell for the year.

Profits grew £800,000 from £34.7M in the year up to September 24, while profit after tax was £23.6M – up from £22M.

Chairman Jonathon Warburton called the results satisfactory, especially with an increasingly competitive wrapped bakery market.

“Our performance has remained stable, despite the continuation of difficult trading conditions and volume decline in the wider bakery market,”  ​he added.

“The performance reflects our continued focus on breakthrough innovation, quality and service in a very competitive marketplace.”

Development of new product ranges

The company’s profit was a testament to the quality of Warburtons’ products and services, supported by the continued development of new product ranges, said Warburton.

“The new Giant Crumpets were successfully introduced during the period, supported by an award winning marketing campaign.

“Other recently introduced product ranges have continued to grow, in part compensating for the general market decline and increasingly competitive nature of the wrapped bread market.”

The launch of Warburtons’ Giant Crumpets at Christmas in 2015 was supported by an advertising campaign featuring the Muppets and starred Warburton himself.

Warburtons’ turnover fell 4.6% from £551.1M to £526.3M, attributed to a continued decline in the wrapped bakery market.

Staff costs for the company dropped by £2.2M as the average number of employees decreased from 4,588 to 4,522.

‘Activity to remain broadly consistent’

Warburton added: “The directors expect the general level of activity to remain broadly consistent with the current performance in the forthcoming period.

The company held £56.7M in cash at the end of the period, compared with £34.2M in the previous year. No dividends were paid out for the period.

Commenting on the risks and uncertainties for the business, Warburton said: “We are exposed to commodity markets, principally wheat, energy and foreign currency.

“The level of volatility remains significant within these cost areas and with the consumer environment remaining challenging, cost recovery is difficult.”

Meanwhile, in March Warburtons won planning approval for a new research and development hub​ at its Bolton site in Lancashire.

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