Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

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.

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

Town crier Tony Appleton proclaims the birth of the second child to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London.

Essex town crier Tony Appleton, who announced the birth of the new princess, said he was told the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be “touched” when he asked if could make the proclamation.

Coastguards dealt with a number of incidents yesterday, including evacuating a sick crew member from a vessel off the coast at Walton-on-the-Naze.

Realise Futures in Lovetofts Drive

A man arrested yesterday in connection with an armed robbery in Ipswich has been bailed in relation to the incident.

Town fans celebrate at Blackburn

Ipswich Town has announced when supporters will be able to get tickets for the play-off semi-final against Norwich City.

Police are investigating a stabbing in Pakefield, Lowestoft this morning

A woman was stabbed in Pakefield, Lowestoft this morning.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the newborn Princess of Cambridge as they leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo by Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have proudly shown their baby princess to the world - just hours after she was born.

Crime writer Ruth Rendell is gone. She died this morning, after a stroke on January 7 had left her critically ill.

Suffolk has lost both its Queens of Crime in about six months. PD James, who had come to love Southwold as a child and later made a home there, died in November. Now her friend Ruth Rendell is gone. She died this morning, after a stroke on January 7 had left her critically ill.

Chelmsford Magistrates Court

A man has been charged in connection with a series of burglaries at Clacton in which elderly and vulnerable people were targeted.

Ottoman commander Mehmed Esat Pasha issuing orders to the batteries at Anzac Cove

There’s nothing like walking in the footprints of history to help us appreciate the past. Mike Peters, Galloway’s resident military historian, writes from the battlefields and cemeteries of the Gallipoli Peninsula as he looks back to the events of April, 1915

Clare

There will be disruption on the roads in Clare this summer due to work to upgrade the gas mains.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages