Applaws range MPM

MPM makes a range of premium, natural, wet petfood for dogs and cats under the Applaws and Encore brands

A boom in pet ownership during the pandemic has helped premium petfood maker MPM Products increases sales to almost £100m in its first year under new PE ownership.

ECI Partners sold the fast-growing group, which produces natural petfood for cats and dogs under the Applaws and Encore brands, to 3i Group at the end of 2020.

Revenues in the year ended 31 December 2021 jumped another 20% to £96.1m thanks to the ongoing trend for premiumisation in petfood, according to newly filed accounts.

EBITDA before exceptional costs soared 74% to £13.3m and pre-tax profits doubled to £11.8m as a result of the sales boom and a tight control over costs.

CEO Julian Bambridge told The Grocer that 2021 was another “exceptional year” of top and bottom-line growth.

The Manchester-headquartered business has expanded rapidly since forming in 2003, with sales growing more than 20% in each of the past six years as a focus on exports pushed its brands into 50 countries worldwide.

International sales now account for about 60% of the total business.

Bambridge said MPM’s core proposition was “perfectly in line” with the ongoing consumer demand for high-quality, natural and sustainable products within the premium wet petfood market.

“As a B Corp we believe in business as a force for good and act with transparency and responsibility for the impact we have on our people, our communities and our planet,” he added.

“We are confident that consumers will continue to prioritise brands who put sustainability at the forefront of their offer even as the macro-economic environment changes. All of this, along with the boom in pet ownership through the pandemic, are contributing to our continued success.”

In the UK alone, 3.2 million households bought a pet in the year after the first lockdown, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association.

Following the adoption boom, the petfood category in the UK added an extra £82.8m in sales to take its value to £1.9bn, as revealed by the Grocer’s latest Top Products survey. MPM’s Encore brand is one of the top 20 in the UK, registering growth of 27.2% in value to £20.5m in 2021.