McBride factory

McBride pre-tax profits have dropped 22% but it remains optimistic about private-label sales

Personal care and household supplier McBride has reported a 22% drop in full-year adjusted profit before tax to £18.4m, but it saw positive prospects in core own-label sales.

The own-label specialist also reported a 6% drop in turnover to £761.4m for the year ending 30 June.

High levels of promotional activity among branded suppliers in the UK and weak Western European markets affected sales and profitability, McBride said.

However, sales growth did pick up in the second half of the year. Own-label sales returned to 2% growth, reversing a 2% drop in the first half of the year.

“Growth in the second half was boosted by the launch of about 60 new products.

“We are seeing private label retail sales volumes grow in a number of our core markets. We are committed to pursuing private label as a strategic growth opportunity, whilst ensuring that we continue to be increasingly cost competitive across all our activities,” said McBride CEO Chris Bull.

McBride intentionally exited some low-margin contract manufacturing and own-label business during the year.

Analysts were upbeat about the company’s prospects.

“A focus in NPD has delivered positive sales momentum in the second half and we expect this to continue in full-year 2014, with profit growth resuming,” said Investec analyst Nicola Mallard.