New Continental lines and cocktail sausages have helped Asda’s own-label cooked meat supplier, Forza Foods, smash the £250m sales barrier.
Sales at the company, which is majority-owned by meat tycoon Max Hilliard and based in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, rose 42% to £253.8m in the 12 months to 29 December, while pre-tax profits increased 92.6% to £13.6n - although the previous trading period was only nine months long as Forza changed its accounting period.
The company’s directors said sales had risen thanks to the introduction of new Continental meats and cocktail sausages for Asda in 2012, as well as product lines launched in 2011 completing their first full years on shelves.
Meat volumes going into Forza increased by 80 tonnes per week, to just 880 tonnes, in 2012, and Forza invested £3m in new equipment. Forza added it had worked hard to convert the increase in sales into a proportionately greater rise in operating profit, by finding new efficiencies.
An Asda spokeswoman said: “Asda works with all its suppliers to ensure operating costs are as low as possible, to ensure we can pass the savings on to our customers.” Forza said it had taken account of its strong performance in setting itself “challenging targets” for 2013.
Sister company Kober - a major supplier of Bacon products to Asda and also part of the Hilliard empire - added more than £1m to its bottom line in the year to 29 December, posting pre-tax profits of £1.9m.