Burton’s Foods shrugged off rising cocoa and dairy prices in 2010 to more than triple its profits.
The maker of Cadbury Fingers, Jammie Dodgers and Maryland Cookies reported profits of £13.1m for the year to 1 January 2011 compared with £3.6m the previous year, accounts published at Companies House revealed this week.
A big chunk of the leap in profits came from a £6.5m reduction in exceptional costs, a result of lower financial restructuring expenses after the conversion of £137.7m of debt into equity in 2009.
However, the remainder of the jump in profits was the result of improved operational efficiency and a 3.3% increase in total sales, to £322.1m.
Cadbury biscuits were star performers, with the launch of Turkish Delight, Crunchie and Caramel biscuits in March 2010 helping boost sales of Burton’s Cadbury range by 26%. “Our innovation programme has gone very well better than expected,” said Burton’s CEO Ben Clarke.
“Cost reduction has provided the fuel for us to drive growth,” he added. Spending on capital, R&D, training and advertising had risen significantly in 2010 and investment in these areas would grow in 2011 and 2012, he claimed.
Although its operating performance has improved, Burton’s is not actively on the lookout for acquisitions. “If opportunities do arise, we’ll look at them, but our focus is on organic growth,” said Clarke.
The business is not just focusing on the UK it has also been pursuing growth opportunities in the US and struck a deal to sell Cadbury Fingers at Walmart in the summer.