Richmond Foods has reported a 33% rise in its pre-tax profit to £14.037 for the year ended September 26, compared to £10,508 a year ago.

The company makes 75% of its sales from the UK’s take-home ice-cream market, and it has recently increased its market share to 33.7%.

Richmond Foods is also confident that successful product launches in 2004, such as the Skinny Cow low-fat ice-cream product, will help to drive organic growth for 2005.

Ross Warburton, chairman of Richmond Foods said: “During the year a further strategic milestone was reached with Richmond becoming a leading manufacturer in the largest and most important sector, the take home market, with a share of 33.7%.

“Whilst we benefited from the incremental sales of De Roma and Oldfield, just as important an achievement was the organic growth from both branded and own-label offerings. In the impulse sector of the market our re-engineering of the supply chain served us well in what was a much tougher year than 2003.”

Over the past year the company increased its share in the premium tub market. The chief executive, James Lambert said: “Our individual ice-cream market share growth resulted from brand launches such as Yorkie and Toffee Crisp ice cream bars, and other products made at the former De Roma site in Wigan.”

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