Dr Oetker, which kicks off a £4m TV advertising blitz for its Ristorante pizza range this week, returned to the black in the UK last year after posting a pre-tax profit of £165,000 compared with a £2.4m loss in 2012.
The figures for the calendar year 2013 were posted at Companies House last week, revealing a small increase in UK revenues.
Peter Franks, managing director (frozen and foodservice), said: “The business did increase turnover from £145m in 2012 to £148m in highly competitive markets in the UK, where there has been an increased focus on own label products in the major supermarkets to combat the growing challenge from discounters.”
Once the amortisation of the goodwill created on the acquisition of Supercook and Schwan’s Consumer Brands in 2007 and 2009 respectively were factored in, the business turned in a post-tax loss of £2m, compared with a £4.2m loss in 2012.
Last year, the company refurbished its Leyland manufacturing plant and opened a new production line to produce pizzas under the Chicago Town and Ristorante brands.
Franks added: “We remain absolutely committed to the UK market and have continued to invest heavily in three core business areas - frozen pizza, home baking and foodservice.”
Doris Abeln, managing director (finance and administration), said the gross profit margin in the UK had been maintained despite strong pressure on pricing and rising raw material costs.
“Dr Oetker UK is committed to an ongoing significant investment to maintain the world-class manufacturing facilities,” she said.
Overall revenues in the German group, which includes beer, wine and shipping divisions, fell 0.9% in 2013 to €10.84bn.