British Honey Company brands

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Losses at the British Honey Co ballooned to £12m in 2021 as a result of a number of writedowns, it was revealed this morning as the distiller and honey producer published long-delayed accounts.

The business was hit by execptional costs of £9m in the year ended 31 December 2021, which included an impairment of the value of Union Distillers, an own-label spirits producer acquired for £8m in February of last year.

Turnover for the year stood at £8m, compared to just £1.5m in the nine months to end of 2020, driven by white-label sales from Union.

British Honey Co said 2021 was a challenging year and one of significant change for the company.

Shares in the group were suspended from the Aquis Exchange earlier this year after it missed the June 30 deadline to submit its annual report.

The company then put itself up for sale in October but ended that process last week after agreeing a £750k loan from one of its shareholders.

This morning British Honey said the delay in completing the audit of the 2021 accounts had been caused “principally by shortcomings in the execution of the inventory/stock take, performed at the time of the acquisition of Union in February 2021”.

Chairman Richard Day added: “Finalising the 2021 accounts has been a long process but now allows us to look forward with a clear base and a settled business alongside the recently announced additional funding having been secured.

“The underlying operations of the group are now in a stronger position and we are working closely with our supportive customers to deliver our products. We look forward to providing further details on our trading early in the New Year.”

The group also said it expected to release interim results for the six months to 30 June 2022 within the next few days, allowing for shares on the Aquis Exchange to restart trading.

Morning update

It’s a quiet start to the week in terms of company news. The FTSE 100 opened 0.5% higher to 7,365.42pts.

Early risers included McBride, up 7% to 21.4p, PayPoint, up 3.6% to 500.4p, Virgin Wines UK, up 2.7% to 71.9p, and Delivery Hero, up 2.1% to €41.22.

Premier Foods is down 2.9% to 106.2p, HelloFresh is down 2.5% to €20.97 and Science in Sport is down 2.1% to 13.7p.

This week in the City

There doesn’t seem to be any scheduled company news in the food and drink sector this week as the City winds down for Christmas.

The London Stock Exchange closes at lunch time on Friday.

The Grocer’s last morning newsletter will go out on Thursday this week.