Zetar, the specialist confectioner and snack foods group has reported an increase in pre-tax profits for the year ended 30 April, with the turnaround in performance driven by innovation and economy product launches.

Adjusted profit before tax was up 40% to £6.4m from £4.5m a year earlier, with turnover 11% higher at £132m, up from £118.6m in 2009.

Cash generated from operations doubled to £7m from £3.5m over the period, enabling the firm to slash its net debt from £15.4m to £11.1m. Zetar is also on the verge of finalising a new four-year financing package with HSBC Bank.

Its confectionery division contributed sales up 11% at £83.2m from £75.1m a year earlier despite the loss of major confectionery customer Woolworths and production capability was extended at the firm’s York site during the year. 

Its natural snacks division delivered sales up 12% at £48.7m from £43.5m in 2009 and adjusted operating profit up 56% to £2.6m.

Looking ahead, chief executive Ian Blackburn said positive trading momentum had been sustained and though the firm is cautious due to the uncertain economic outlook it anticipates further growth this year. 

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Confectioner Zetar claws back sales lost in collapse of Woolies (23 January 2010)
Focus On Confectionery (03 October 2009)