Heck packaging revamp

Source: Heck

The brand reported an operating profit of £239k last year following a switch to more profitable SKUs

Heck has hailed its switch in focus to more profitable lines after swinging back into the black last year.

The North Yorkshire-based sausage brand reported an operating profit of £238,753 in the 12 months to 31 July 2023, according to its latest accounts, posted at Companies House this month.

This represented a swing into profitability of more than £566k when compared with the operating loss of £327,644 that Heck registered in the previous financial year.

Pre-tax losses also shortened, from £520k to £70k, while gross margins increased from 25.1% to 26.9%, driven by the rationalisation of its proposition.

Heck “adapted quickly” after a challenging, inflation-dominated 2022/23 financial year to streamline production facilities and focus on its core, said its annual report.

But as a result of this strategy, turnover slipped by 9% to £23.8m.

Products to have fallen by the wayside over the past year included Heck’s frozen and cooked snacks range – some of which were produced by third parties, said Heck co-founder Jamie Keeble. 

“So that’s why our turnover is on the slide, but our profits have improved as those lines were not making money for us,” he added. “We’re now selling only products that we can produce in our own factory.”

Some new lines, such as its steak and steak burger, had also performed strongly, “exceeding expectations and further cementing Heck’s position at the top of the market”, its accounts revealed.

It follows an admittance by the brand last year that it had also pulled back on the production of some of its plant-based lines, with fellow co-founder Andrew Keeble saying Heck had been “trying to deal with too much” in pursuit of turnover growth.

And as a result of its range rationalisation, Heck – which announced the launch of a new sub-brand called What The Heck – earlier this month, was now in a period of growth, said Jamie Keeble.

“The first three months of this calendar year have been fantastic. We’re also launching lots of NPD this month and will be doing a load of marketing activation around the BBQ season. This year’s financials will be even better with both turnover and profit up.”