beyond burger

Authentic Food Group distributes Beyond Meat products in the UK

Own-label frozen meals supplier and Beyond Meat’s UK distributor The Authentic Food Group fell to a £3.5m loss in the 18-month trading period in which it was forced to close its Irish business.

The world foods manufacturer said it had been faced with “unprecedented political, economic and market challenges” in the period, with Brexit uncertainties and exchange rates driving pressure on prices within its value-led categories.

The company, which has supplied Iceland, Morrisons, Asda and foodservice customers, saw overall sales rise to £124.5m in the 18-month period - a 0.8% rise on a pro-rata basis.

However, it fell to a pre-tax loss on ordinary activities of £3.5m in the 18 months to 30 November 2018, compared with a profit of £2.1m in the 12 months to 31 May 2017.

At the end of the financial period the company closed its Dundalk facility in Ireland, which it bought from Heinz in 2015, due to “unsustainable commercial pressure from a large-scale customer”.

MD Nik Basran said: “The changes that we made to the business in 2018 have helped us return to profitability.”