Mars bar

Mars saw pre-tax profit fall by 7% last year

After its profit revival in 2012, Mars Chocolate saw pre-tax profit fall by 7% last year.

Despite a rise in turnover, pre-tax profit for the year to 28 December 2013 dropped to £100.6m from £108.6m in 2012.

Mars Chocolate sales rose to £833m in 2013 from £818m in 2012, but gross profit margin fell to 25% from 26% while operating profit margin fell to 11% from 13%, according to figures filed at Companies House. Staff costs rose by almost £18m to £162m.

The company, which declined to comment on the results, gave no direct explanation for the drop in profits in its accounts. The commentary accompanying its accounts said it expected “recent levels of profitability will be maintained.”

In the accounts commentary, Mars Chocolate said its performance reflected “the investment into products, brands, processes and consumer relationships as part of our ongoing strategy to reflect and adapt to anticipated changes in consumer attitudes and behaviour, as well as increase the focus on key areas of the marketplace.”

Mars fell two places – from 65th to 67th – on The Grocer’s Britain’s Biggest Grocery Brands list for 2014, despite a sponsorship deal with the FA and the introduction of new sharing formats.

In separate results, pre-tax profits at Mars Food UK, which owns brands such as Uncle Ben’s, rose slightly in the year to 28 December 2013, moving from 36.6m to £37.4m. Meanwhile, sales for the period were marginally higher, reaching £230.5m.

It was announced today that Fiona Dawson, president of Mars Chocolate UK, is to head its global food business.