Birds Eye posts significant growth over lockdown

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Birds Eye posted sales and profit growth thanks to COVID-19 restrictions
Birds Eye posted sales and profit growth thanks to COVID-19 restrictions

Related tags frozen

Lockdown restrictions help boost Birds Eye’s 2020 full-year results, as its 2018 acquisitions begin to bring in sales.

The frozen food firm posted operating profit of £105.9m for the year ended 31 December 2020, up from £12.3m reported in the previous year. Sales for the year increased 50.7% to £732.6m, with the UK contributing a significant chunk of its revenue (£661.3m).

Birds Eye noted it was now in its four consecutive year of growth, driven by a full year’s trading of recent acquisitions Aunt Bessie’s and Goodfellas and demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its most recent financial statement, the company’s directors said that 2020 was an exceptional year for the Frozen Food Category, which saw rapid sales growth from March when COVID-19 restrictions were put in place in the UK.

“The move to working from home, school closures and shutdown of the hospitality sector all saw in-home meal occasions increase. The pandemic also led to a change in shopper environment and habits, with bigger, less frequent shopping trips and a clear shift to online,”​ they continued.

Strong demand

“The company was well placed to support the industry in providing more food, working with retailers to ensure that product availability was maximised albeit with additional demand placed on our production sites to fulfil this additional volume.”

However, the frozen food firm noted that the closure of schools, pubs and restaurants had negatively impacted its foodservice sales, but noted these were expected to recover in 2021 with the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Commenting on the impact of Brexit, Birds Eye noted that there was still uncertainty surrounding Government policy on the UK’s transition from the EU, but was working the minimise the impact on the company.  

At the end of 2020, the company had a total of 1008 employees at its office and factory locations in England. Priority throughout this period was to protect the health and safety of our employees, and in particular factory colleagues, by enacting strict policies and procedures while at the same time increasing production.

Nomad Foods results

Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods recently reported an increase in its second quarter 2021 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 4% to €123m (£105.5m), against sales of €596m (£511.2m) – down 1%.

Stéfan Descheemaeker, Nomad Foods’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “Results were driven by improving market share trends, a recovering foodservice business, accretive allocation of capital and successfully navigating a dynamic inflationary backdrop.

“With more than half of the year behind us, we remain confident in achieving our 2021 guidance.”

Meanwhile, last month, Greggs, AG Barr and Ornua all posted growth and strong sales in spite of COVID-19 related challenges, in our round-up of food and drink manufacturer’s financial results.

Related topics Frozen Operations

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