Burton’s Biscuits remained heavily in the red last year, but its CEO hailed a “much-improved” performance as sales edged upwards and margins improved.
After the loss of its lucrative Cadbury biscuits licence, Burton’s returned to growth in 2018, with sales up 1% to £235.2m.
The Jammie Dodgers maker also cut its pre-tax losses by over £4m to £10.8m last year, while operating losses fell from £9.3m to £4.9m.
Gross margins improved by 2% due to lessening cost input inflation and sales shifting towards higher margin branded products.
Burton’s outperformed the sweet biscuit category’s 3.4% growth with sales up 6.5%, underpinned by the launch of its Mars biscuit range and a solid performance by Maryland.
It also raised its share of the private label sweet biscuit market to 10%.
However, its smaller savoury biscuit sales remained under pressure, down 25% during the year amid “high competitive intensity”.
In 2017 Burton’s slumped to a £15m pre-tax loss, reflecting the 2016 sale of its Cadbury licence back to Mondelez, which resulted in a 6.1% drop in sales and sharply contracting margins.
Burton’s remained in the red last year, but cut its pre-tax loss to £10.8m, while operating losses fell from £9.3m to £4.9m as gross margins improved by 2% due to lessening cost input inflation and sales shifting towards higher margin branded products.
CEO Nick Field said: “The improvement is continuing as we increase our share of the total biscuit market, delivering growth across our brands and partners’ brands, whilst continuing our focus and success in building longer-term strategic private label partnerships.”
Sales are expected to grow further following the acquisitions of Dorset Village Bakery (Thomas Fudge’s) and Paterson Arran, in February and September respectively.
“This year’s acquisitions are a clear indication of our continued intent to drive our business forward, investing behind our commitment to extend our capability and to continue broadening our product portfolio, to build interest and excitement in the category,” Field added.