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28 November, 2017

World food producer notches up record sales

Posted in : November/December 2017 on by : gap personnel

A world food producer has posted record sales of more than £80m as it begins to reap the rewards of a significant investment into new production facilities.

The Authentic Food Group has generated record sales of £82.4m in the year to 31 May 2017, up by 12 per cent on a year earlier. The group also made pre-tax profits of £2.1m compared to losses of £0.8m in the prior year.

During the year, the group completed the integration of a 180,000 sq ft manufacturing site at Dundalk in Ireland which was acquired in 2015 from Kraft Heinz to expand its production and packaging capabilities. The deal included a co-pack arrangement to develop the US food giant’s range of ready meals such as Weight Watchers from Heinz in the UK and Europe.

Nik Basran, chief executive of the Authentic Food Group, said: “The year was an important one for us both in terms of delivering our long-term strategy to become the leading provider of frozen world foods in Europe, while at the same time keeping a tight control of costs. These results are all the more pleasing given the headwinds we faced post-Brexit, with the fall in the pound leading to higher raw material costs, as well as ongoing price pressure from customers.”

The group, which is headquartered at Sharston in Greater Manchester, has several new contracts launching in the autumn of 2017 and the spring of 2018 as well as a significant pipeline of new business across both the retail and foodservice sectors.

Basran added: “The Dundalk acquisition was a transformational one, enabling us to double our capacity in the medium term. In the meantime, we’re well on track to deliver a run-rate of £100m in sales over the next 12 months.

“While market conditions remain challenging, and the terms of the UK’s departure from the European Union uncertain, we remain confident about our ability to deliver significant growth in the years ahead as we capitalise on rising demand for authentic, high-quality world foods across the UK and Europe.”

Originally known for its Indian cuisine, the group has expanded its products to include world foods, snacks and accompaniments as well as health-conscious cuisine. It has also collaborated with chef Paul Heathcote to develop a range of classic British and Italian dishes and the Yu family, which owns the Yu & You and Yu Alderley restaurants, to create a range of Chinese recipes.

As well as supplying private-label ranges for supermarkets, the group also produces for third-party brands under licence and its own foodservice brand, the Authentic Food Co.