Profits soar at flour mill as it moves more towards retail market
PUBLISHED: 11:57 19 February 2019
Operating profit at an Essex flour milling firm has soared, in spite of a fire.
Family milling business Marriages, which can trace its roots back to the mid-17th century, saw profits more than double from £156K in 2017 to £322K to the year ended April 2018.
Gross margins rose by 3% to 23% as a result of a “continued strategic move from commodity products to more retail-based products,” director Barry Humble said in the company’s strategic report.
Profit after tax was £248K compared to £83K in 2017, and turnover soared from £12.5m to £15m.
In September 2017, the company, which is based at an historic mill in Chelmsford and employs around 43 staff, suffered a fire at its production site in Lincolnshire which resulted in exceptional costs of £401K, including £152K for future repair costs. It received an insurance payout of £855K and the claim in ongoing in relation to the business interruption element, it said.
“The company operates in a highly competitive market place,” said director Barry Humble.
“To combat the constant threat from competitor pricing in all sectors, the company aims to focus on producing a high quality product and providing an efficient and customer-friendly service.
“Weather can also have an adverse impact on the profitability of the business. In order to minimise this risk the company has endeavoured to spread its customer base across a range of different business sectors.”
Currency exchange rates pose a potential risk to the company, he said, as it relied on imported goods for some of its raw materials and fluctuations could have an impact.