Princes has shrugged off declining canned fish sales to post a 14% rise in annual pre-tax profits after growing its international revenues.
Sales for the year to 31 March 2014 were flat, according to newly filed accounts in Companies House. Total turnover edged up to £1.618bn from £1.617bn, but an £11m reduction in the cost of sales helped boost pre-tax profit to £65.2m.
UK sales of brands including Shippam’s and Crosse & Blackwell fell 1.4% to £1.25bn. Sales in the rest of Europe grew 11.1% to £279.8m.
Last month’s Grocer Top Products report found that Princes’ canned fish sales fell 9.1% in the year to 8 November in the UK last year. The company has focused efforts on added-value products aimed at younger, affluent consumers to counter the sluggishness of the canned fish market. Canned fruit sales were up 22.3%, also partly thanks to continued NPD.
During its 2013/14 trading year, Princes increased its shareholding in Napolina from 76% to 100% during the period and subsumed subsidiary Well Well Well into the company.
Prince’s declined to comment on its accounts.