In its annual results for the year ended 30 June 2017, the company reported a flat wholesale performance, with just a 0.31% year-on-year increase. The group’s retail sales grew by just shy of 13%, driven by two new sites opening during the year.
It added that lower-than-expected growth, increased staffing costs and significant one-off costs had affected profitability over the year. Growth was also impacted by two new accounts, which were expected to be signed during the year, being pushed back into this financial year (2017-18). Raw material costs, beef in particular contributed towards material costs rising 1.3%.
In its annual statement, Dicksons said it would continue to focus on quality. “Product quality, safety, value and innovation lie at the heart of the business and we aim to ensure that the company founders’ artisan spirit and pride in product continue to be reflected in our full product range.
“Project BCC (Better, Competitive, Compliant) continues to be championed at director level and ties together the training, H&S, technical and operations teams to ensure it is not only delivered in principle but through the culture within the business.”
Dicksons also restructured its management team over the year. “Succession planning remains a core objective for the business, but is not without its challenges. The board believes the restructured management team will enable the company to grow and now anticipate a sustained period of growth.
“The new senior management team is in place and the continued investment in people is expected to yield returns which will contribute to a steadily improving financial picture to June 2018 and into 2019.”
The business will be investing in an “end to end” IT system for its manufacturing division that will help deliver live costings and pricings, facilitate the delivery of divisional accounts and assist with price competiveness.
It does expect growth in the wholesale business in the second quarter of the year, thanks to new retail business being won.
Food Manufacture sat down with Dicksons managing director Chris Hayman to discuss business growth.