Increased annual profits for Bury St Edmunds-based Pauls Malt

A file picture of Pauls maltings near Bury St Edmunds.
Photograph: Tudor Morgan-Owen

A file picture of Pauls maltings near Bury St Edmunds. Photograph: Tudor Morgan-Owen

East Anglia-based Pauls Malt has reported increased annual profits, with a slight dip in turnover more than offset by a fall in the cost of raw materials.

Accounts filed at Companies House reveal that the company’s pre-tax profit for the year to June 30, 2017, came at £13.988m, up from £8.598 the previous year.

Turnover eased lower, to £108.952m compared with £109.321m a year earlier, but the cost of sales fell markedly, from £90.222m to £82.756m, leaving gross profit well ahead at £25.296m against £19.099 last time.

Pauls, which is part of the international maltings group Boortmalt, based in Antwerp, has its headquarters in Bury St Edmunds and is a member of the Top 100 listing of Suffolk and Norfolk’s 100 largest companies by turnover.

In its review accompanying the results, the company says that the European and North American beer markets continued to show strong growth, again helped by strong sales of craft beers, while demand for malt in the UK was also helped by the whisky distilling industry benefiting in export markets from the Brexit-hit pound.

It notes that, as a result of the boom in the craft brewing sector, the UK now has more than 25 breweries per million people compared with 15 in the United States, where craft brewers now have a 12.3% share of the total beer market, and 16 in Germany.

“Boortmalt Group has in response to this market segment developed four distinct craft brands, which are being progressively rolled out in 2017 to take advantage of the global craft phenomenon,” it adds.

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The report continues: “Brexit continues to provide short term trading benefits with the UK becoming very attractive to the various export markets and as a result it is expected that our export volume will continue to grow in 2017.

“A depressed sterling also increases the price of malt imports, which will further provide support for the UK industry malt supply and demand.”

However, it adds: “The longer term consequences of Brexit are unknown particularly with respect to support for agriculture and the UK industry will continue making appropriate representations to the UK government through the Maltsters Association of Great Britain to ensure our raw material supply is adequately protected.”

Pauls operates four maltings, one near Bury St Edmunds, one in North Yorkshire and two in Scotland. The business was founded in Ipswich by Robert Paul in around 1842 and has been owned by the French co-operative Axereal, the parent company of Boortmalt, since 2010.