In its financial statement for the year to 1 April 2018, the business reported revenues of £30m, up from £24.5m in 2017. However, its gross profit percentage was down to 41.8% from 47% the previous year and operating profit fell to 11.3% from 14.9% in 2017.
The main reason cited for the drop in profits was the poor potato crop throughout 2018.
In its report, Seabrook said: “Issues with the quality of the potato crop affected the majority of 2018, with poorer-than-average yields materially impacting our profitability in the year. Had yields been aligned to historic averages, we would have improved on our 2017 performance. However, given the unexpected and relatively short timeframe over which these issues occurred, we met these costs in full.”
It also reported that input cost inflation had hit its gross profit, as well as “fierce competition” in the retail sector.
Seabrook also highlighted some of the successes over the year. “The business continued to evolve at pace to meet new challenges, with the year representing another significant development milestone.
“As part of that development, we continued our investment programme into our operational capability and infrastructure, obtaining accreditation to supply private-label to the majority of the main retailers in the UK and subsequently securing supply contracts – a first for the business. It is these private-label contracts, combined with significant branded growth that has driven the increase in revenue in the year. The annualisation of the revenue generated from these additional private-label contracts will only be fully realised in our 2019 results.”
It also pledged to continue to “invest in our site and infrastructure for the benefit of our brand and our private-label partners”.
In October, Seabrook Crisps was acquired by Calbee UK, a subsidiary of Japan-based Calbee Inc.