While turnover for the year was lower, down 2% to £105m, this was due to a longer reporting period in the previous year – 14 months to 31 July 2017. The cost of sales dropped to £78.7m from £81.9m, promoting profit for the reported period.
Sales in the UK remained strong for the company (£99.6m), while sales to the rest of the world saw significant growth – up 27.6% to £5.7m.
The results were also the first to be published since the company was taken back under family ownership in March 2018, having been sold to speciality food firm Aryzta in 2011.
Commenting in the report on Signature’s position in the market, director William Eid said: “Competition is strong in the UK retail market, and a challenge for the retailers is to reposition themselves to appeal to an even more discerning customer.
“As retailers continue to offer new propositions, we offer solutions to support their repositioning, while maintaining and improving on customer service level standards. This has resulted from continual investment in product, technology and plant, ensuring we can maintain and grow market share.”
Signature’s financial report followed news it had created 50 new jobs so far this year and was raising factory wages to a base level of £9 an hour – above the Government’s recently raised National Living Wage.
The higher pay rate would apply to all permanently employed staff working in its Dunstable factory from 6 April, it confirmed.
Meanwhile, struggling sugar sales have dragged down Associated British Foods’ (ABF’s) half-year results, as it reported a 15% drop in pre-tax profit, falling to £515m in the 24 weeks to 2 March 2019, compared with £603m in the same period in 2018. ABF’s sales fared better, up 1% to £7.53bn for the period.