Somerdale Westminster range

Source: Somerdale International

Cheese exporter Somerdale International last year reinforced its position as the UK’s biggest transatlantic supplier of cheese after reporting record US sales for the year to 31 March.

The £20m worth of cheese sold stateside by Somerdale represented year-on-year sales growth of 3% and came despite several months of US restrictions on dairy goods sent from Britain.

Somerdale’s annual results showed worldwide sales were up 9% on the previous reported year to £45.9m.

The Somerset-based supplier said the pandemic had “a limited negative impact” on its business, with sales in some markets benefiting as “restrictions gave rise to a renaissance in home cooking and entertaining at home”.

Reported profit before tax almost tripled year on year to £1.78m, buoyed by the outcome of its record US performance, according to finance director Trevor Debenham.

“Looking forward, the directors expect a strong trading performance in the current year and beyond,” Debenham added.

“Central to this will be Somerdale’s flexibility and agility in reacting to new opportunities and risks, and our ongoing commitment to investing in and enhancing our operational capabilities, in-market presence, product range and marketing activity.”

However, the business hinted next year’s report could be less rosy as it cited “a significant increase in freight and packaging costs, restricted shipping container availability and labour shortages” among potential headwinds.