ella's kitchen

Babyfood brand Ella’s Kitchen has recorded a double-digit increase in sales for the 10th successive year to break past £50m and bounce back to profitability as it increased UK market share.

Revenues increased 10% to £51.2m in the year to 30 June 2015, with sales in the UK up 12% to £40.5m and international business rising 6% to bring in £10.7m.

The latest accounts, which exclude the business in the US and Canada, also showed pre-tax profits of £5.9m for the period compared with a £1.5m loss the previous year, when a £4.3m one-off charge pushed the business into the red for the first time since it started publishing full accounts in 2009.

Ella’s has grown sales rapidly from less than £500,000 in 2006 when it was formed by Paul Lindley to current levels, leading to US food giant Hain Celestial paying close to £70m for the group in May 2013.

MD Mark Cuddigan said: “This has been another strong year for Ella’s Kitchen. We’re very pleased to say that 2015 marks our tenth successive year of double-digit growth. We have seen strong growth in some key international markets and have continued to expand our customer base at home.”

The brand increased its share of the wet babyfood market in the UK by four percentage points to 30%.

Growth in 2014/15 was achieved through increased rate of sale and distribution of existing product ranges and launching new products to market, Ella’s added. It has also taken share in the snacking area of the baby aisle and extended its range of pouch products for babies.

The business, which has a presence in 21 countries, increased exports by breaking into new markets such as Benelux, Iceland and the Middle East.

Ella’s is working to a global target of one billion “tiny tummy touch points”, with each point one portion of its baby and toddler products, ranging from pureed fruit to biscuits and yoghurts. The business added 110 million points in the year to reach 591 million.

Since the year-end, Ella’s was approved by ethical business organisation B Lab, receiving a certification as a B Corporation and joining global names such as Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.