Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Suffolk/Norfolk: Turkey giant Bernard Matthews is back in profit but still cautious

PUBLISHED: 08:53 14 November 2012

Rob Mears, MD of Bernard Matthews, at Great Witchingham hall.  Photo: Bill Smith

Rob Mears, MD of Bernard Matthews, at Great Witchingham hall. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

Rising turkey sales in the UK have helped Bernard Matthews Group produce a £2m profit in the 12 months to July – but the firm is warning that Unveiling its results, the company, which has a large plant at Halesworth, said group sales totalled £341.4m for the year – compared to £470.8m in the previous 18 months – while UK turkey consumption was up more than 4pc.

Bernard Matthews Oldenburg, its German subsidiary, had a difficult year due to a number of external factors, including the poor summer weather which hit barbecue sales, and rising raw material costs, while SáGa Foods, the Hungarian subsidiary, experienced increased input costs allied to relatively weak commodity meat pricing, and the continuing difficulties in the Hungarian economy.

However, despite reversing a £6.6m loss from the previous year, the company remains cautious about the outlook ahead.

Bernard Matthews’ Group chief executive Noel Bartram said: “Whilst performance in the last financial year has been encouraging, there is still significant progress to be made.

“We have continued to incur unprecedented feed cost increases and do not envisage such increases abating over the coming year. With consumer spending and the wider economy remaining weak, we are cautious on our outlook for the next 12 months.

“Nonetheless, we remain focused on our strategic objective of doubling turkey consumption in the UK by 2020 and are encouraged by the 4.4pc growth over the last year. I believe this to be a reflection of our continued efforts to promote turkey as a healthy and affordable meat.”

Rob Mears, managing director at the firm, which employs more than 2,200 staff in East Anglia, said the firm had already invested £3m upgrading its facilities at Great Witchingham and a new refinancing deal agreed with its bankers would allow further investments to take place to help drive efficiency and improve business performance.

“The UK business is performing well, and our sales are improving for the third year running,” he said.

“But the level of profit we are generating for a business of our size is still pretty slim and for a business of our size we need to achieve higher levels. But we have managed to refinance the business and we have got more liquidity, which means we can make some significant investments to further enhance performance.

“The main concern is the extremely difficult trading conditions, with costs continuing to be at record levels. Certainly they are having an impact on the business and we expect this to continue for the remainder of 2012/2013.

“We are doing our best to minimise that, but inevitably consumers will have to get used to paying more for foodstuffs. This is not something that is unique to us.”

0 comments

Firefighters rescued a cat from a roof in Blythburgh this morning but had to leave safety sheets so a second moggy could jump down in his own time.

Despite a small population of around 5,000 people, Framlingham certainly punches above its weight when it comes to notable singers.

A Suffolk school has been ranked among the top 20% in the country for attainment and progress made by pupils between key stages of their education.

A former police station has sold for more than a million pounds before going under the auctioneer’s hammer.

The mother of a teenager who was stabbed to death in Essex has said she is unable to describe how much she misses her “darling boy”.

A Suffolk coastal town will be the last resort for a Welsh father and son when the end their ‘Pier to Pier’ cycle in aid of two cancer charities this April.

A glassmaker who spends weeks recreating the finest details of the natural world has had three of her pieces selected for a prestigious exhibition in Holland.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24