William Jackson Food Group (WJFG) has seen pre-tax profits rise to £18m for the year ending 25 April 2015, from £15.8m the year before.
Turnover for the Yorkshire-based owner of brands including Jackson’s Bakery and Aunt Bessie’s also rose to £276m for the year, compared to £269m in the previous year.
The group, founded in 1851, has enjoyed strong growth in the past five years from its portfolio of four food businesses: Aunt Bessie’s, MyFresh, Abel & Cole and Jackson’s Bakery.
WJFG said: “The year has not seen any let-up in the difficult economic conditions facing customers. The retail environment has also been difficult in the year, so it is pleasing to see that our diversified portfolio of businesses has enabled both sales and profit growth.”
The report also said: “There are undoubtedly challenges in the commercial world in which we do business. However, the board continues to believe that the opportunities for profitable growth outweigh the potential impact of the risk and uncertainties which face the group.”
In December 2015, WJFG secured funding from Lloyds Bank’s mid markets and strategic finance teams, which will allow it to pursue a range of growth opportunities. It also announced that it hoped to provide food security to a farming community in Malawi, Africa, as part of a £225,000 five-year charity project.
Norman Soutar, chief executive of WJFG, said of the project: “Sustainability is at the heart of what we do, so to be able to apply our expertise to the important pursuit of food security in Malawi is a powerful use of our knowledge and skills.”
Elsewhere, Aunt Bessie’s has signed up to a three year deal to sponsor ITV programme I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.