McCain GB and Bright Blue Foods see sales and profits rise

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

BBF announced the launch of a new range of M&S cakes in March
BBF announced the launch of a new range of M&S cakes in March

Related tags Finance Bakery frozen

McCain Foods (GB) and Bright Blue Foods have joined the ranks of food manufacturers recovering from the hammer blow of the pandemic, with both reporting sales and profits up in full-year results.

McCain Foods GB

McCain Foods GB chalked up operating profit of £54.3m in the year to 30 June 2021, up from £2m the previous year, on sales of £528.8m, up from the previous year's £499.1m total.

The bounce-back had been supported by a three-pronged strategy focusing on the safety of its workforce, cash preservation and revenue generation. The company, which supplies frozen potato products for retail and out of home markets, also said it had ploughed cash into regenerating and restructuring its Scarborough factory.

"For the financial year ended June 2021, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact business operations,"​ stated the company's review of performance.

"Whilst total sales have returned to growth after the initial impact of COVID-19, the pandemic has continued to effect closures/restrictions within out of home markets, which in turn have impacted operations as a result of managing demand and supply across all channels."

McCain Foods GB added that it had experienced a more stable crop harvest, but had still had to manage the impact on potato supply from the previous harvest, plus a potato surplus caused by the pandemic.

Bright Blue Foods

Cake and baked goods manufacturer Bright Blue Foods reported sales of £134.8m in the year to 26 June 2021, up from £89.5m in the previous year. Operating profit rose from £5.6m to £10.2m.

Results were boosted by parent company BBF Holdings's acquisition of its Hull bakery in November 2020. The company reported sales of its celebration cakes were hit by the pandemic. However, it said its operational efficiency programme, which included investment in automation across its four UK factories and one factory in Poland, had boosted gross profit margins, despite inflationary pressures.

That said, in his business review, BBF chief executive Jonathan Lill warned: "Efficiency improvements and capital investment have played an important role in addressing industry-wide inflationary challenges. However, the bakery category is likely to continue to face significant inflationary headwinds from both raw materials and labour, the scale of which cannot be absorbed by the group alone, therefore the group continues to review the need for further cost recovery action.

"There is little expectation that the UK cake market will change significantly over the next few years, however we do expect consolidation of the supply base to continue. The group will continue to invest in the sites and streamline production to ensure it can remain competitive in the market."

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