Quorn supplier breaks £200m sales in full-year results

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Export growth has helped Marlow Foods pass £200m in sales last year
Export growth has helped Marlow Foods pass £200m in sales last year
Export growth has helped Marlow Foods, which trades as Quorn and Cauldron Foods, pass £200m in sales last year, with markets in the US, Nordics, Australia and Germany boosting numbers.

Turnover for the company grew 16.2% to £204.6m, up from £176.1m in 2016, in the year to 31 December 2017. This was the second year since the company was bought by Monde Nissin. The performance represents the third year of consecutive sales growth.

Earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation were up 19% to £37m, returning to levels seen by the company in 2015.

Chief financial officer James Harvey said sales in the UK had continued to grow well, thanks to increased investment in consumer and customer marketing activities.

Supply chain efficiencies

“Sales in overseas markets were also strong, especially in the US, Nordics, Australia and Germany,”​ he added. “Although the group experienced cost inflation, margins have been protected by efficiencies in the supply chain, where we continue to invest.”

Sales in the UK grew 10.3% to £152.3m, representing the lion’s share of Marlow’s turnover in 2017. This was followed by Europe (£31.8m) and the rest of the world (£20.3m).

Staff numbers grew for the company last year, up 6.4% to 703 employees from 657 in the previous year, mostly in production.

Harvey also commented on the uncertainty of Brexit negotiations, which had made it difficult to assess their impact over future trade in Europe.

No limits to investment

“However, we continue to review the situation and we do not plan to limit our planned investment to grow our international business,” ​said Harvey. “The board will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as the future trading relationship with Europe becomes clearer.”

Last week, Quorn announced it had invested £7m in a new global innovation centre​ in the north east of England, as it posted £112m in like-for-like sales in its 2018 half-year results.

Having already created more than 100 jobs last year, Quorn expected the new development would allow the company to continue job creation, particularly in roles requiring employees with science, technology, engineering and mathematics backgrounds.

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