The organic food company founded by the Prince of Wales has posted losses of £3.2m, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
Duchy Originals, which last September signed an exclusivity agreement with Waitrose, suffered as consumers cut back on luxuries during the recession.
After announcing the tie-up with Waitrose, Duchy chief executive Andrew Baker denied the deal was effectively a bail-out. But new accounts show the company posted a turnover of £2.2m for the 12 months to March 31 2009 – down by almost half on the previous year’s £4m sales.
Sir Michael Peat, Prince Charles’s principal private secretary, said at the time of the Waitrose deal: “This is all to do with moving to the next level. You know Waitrose aren’t in some way bailing out or rescuing Duchy Originals because we are not staying as we are, we’re fine as we are; they are helping us to move to the next level.”
The retailer has committed to investing million of pounds to develop the Duchy brand from 200 product lines to around 500.
The accounts reveal the loss making Launceston bakery sold by Duchy to Samworth Brothers last year incurred a £1.9m cost. A further £78,627 cost was recorded as a result of a previously unknown attempted acquisition that was not completed.
Baker leaves Duchy but remains central to Prince’s interests (19 December 2009)
Duchy collaboration set to take Waitrose to three-tier system (12 September 2009)
Editor's Comment: The new Abnormally Special range at Waitrose will top the mults' use of superlatives (12 September 2009)