Richmond Foods has reported an 8.4% increase in full-year pre-tax profit to end October 2 of £14.4m.

However, the ice cream manufacturer also revealed a 2.1% decrease in sales for the period to £140.7m.

Richmond said that the decline was because of its decision to cease manufacturing a number of De Roma products, its decision to withdraw some of its Nestlé products from buy one get one free promotions, a change of stockholding and distribution arrangements with a major wholesaler and lost sales of own-label products following Morrisons acquisition of Safeway.

It said that trading conditions during the second half of the year had been tougher than expected, with an increase in the level of competitive promotions in the take home market combined with a generally weak impulse market.

Ross Warburton, chairman of Richmond Foods, added: “We believe that Richmond will continue to grow in the UK ice cream market and the current year has got off to a strong start, with sales for the first seven weeks of the year up over 10% on last year following good organic sales growth during October and November.”

“The board is confident that the current year will demonstrate further progress.”

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