Premium ice cream player Mackie’s of Scotland saw its sales jump 17% in its most recent financial year, but profits fell back as it absorbed sharply higher costs rather than pass them on to consumers.

Newly filed accounts for Mackie’s Ltd for the year to 31 May 2023 show the Scottish brand increased sales by 17.3% amid strong growth of 13% in the UK and 27% in export markets.

The group’s ice cream sales were the primary driver of top-line growth, with Mackie’s selling more than 13.3 million litres of ice cream in the period. Its Aberdeen ice cream parlours also continued to build on the prior year’s Covid recovery.

Mackie’s also saw a 33% rise in the sales of its chocolate products, while sales of ice cubes remained flat and farm revenue decreased.

However, group costs increased by almost 31% in the period amid soaring prices of ingredients, particularly the cost of cream, which was elevated in the first half of the financial year.

The rise in costs meant a 21% drop in pre-tax profits back to £1.3m.

However, Mackie’s said the lower profitability also reflected its decision to absorb as much of the spike in costs as possible rather than passing them on to consumers, while it continued to invest in new equipment, staff members and training.

The top-line growth enabled it to expand its workforce to more than 100 employees for the first time in its history.

Its focus on competitive pricing also resulted in a 11% increase in Mackie’s UK consumer penetration.

“We are thrilled to announce that thanks to the hard work and dedication of our incredible team making our delicious products, Mackie’s has reached this turnover milestone,” said Mackie’s MD Stuart Common. “Despite the challenges of rising costs and supply chain issues, our staff have gone above and beyond to continue producing Scotland’s favourite premium ice cream to the highest standards.

“This landmark achievement reflects the progress Mackie’s has made over the years and shows the strength of our brand and products. We’re extremely proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to achieving even greater success in the years to come.”

The brand’s second most popular Honeycomb flavour now sits alongside its flagship Traditional across the UK in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrisons, with more major listings planned in the current financial year.

Overall sales were also boosted by new product launches, with Indulgent Toffee Fudge “proving very popular with customers following extensive consumer research before launch”.

Common added: “We are looking to invest to further increase our production capacity in order to widen the availability of our products across the UK. We plan to install new equipment and production lines enabling us to scale up manufacturing while maintaining our commitment to sustainability and quality.

Chairman Mac Mackie commented: “As a proudly Scottish family business, we remain dedicated to our Aberdeenshire home here on the family farm, while also being determined to continue to provide moments of joy to our customers across the world through our ice cream and chocolate.”