Tetley owner Tata Consumer Products GB outperformed the wider black tea market to grow sales last year – but soaring costs hit margins.
The group delivered a 7% rise in annual revenues to £140.5m in the year to 31 March 2023, with growth across its key markets of the UK, Canada and Australia.
Growth was primarily driven by price increases to mitigate cost inflation, which offset the pressure on everyday black tea volumes, given the wider structural decline of the category in the UK
Headline growth was also boosted by the partial inclusion of sales of its premium Teapigs brand, of which it was appointed master distributor in February.
However, operating profit fell back to £11.8m from £17.4m, given a sharp rise in input costs and the relative weakness of sterling, while it also incurred £2.3m of restructuring costs.
The group’s UK head David Atkinson commented: “It has been an amazing year for Tata teas, with a massive investment in our Eaglescliffe manufacturing site, and a radical redesign of Tetley packs, with the move to sustainable cartons nearing completion.
In a very tough market for consumers Tetley has won share across total tea, by focusing on key basics particularly continued improvement in our products; great service to our customers; and great value to consumers.”
“I’m really looking forward to next year as we build on this year’s execution with continuous support for Tetley on radio; and ‘support for the supporters’ sampling at the Great North and Great South runs. With six times more samples than ever before, Teapigs is focused on getting product into more consumers’ hands and Good Earth is exploding as shoppers find this great range in more and more shops.”