Ingredients business Macphie has reported strong growth despite a “challenging” traditional bakery market.

The 90-year-old Scottish firm – which was named Bakery Manufacturer of the Year at the 2017 Baking Industry Awards in September – today (21 December) announced a 13.2% increase in turnover to £53.9m in the year to March 2017. Growth has accelerated compared to the previous year, when turnover rose 7% year-on-year.

Sales increased across most UK channels, with out of home the key growth area, the company stated, adding that the Middle East offered further growth opportunities due to expansion of food service operators in the region.

Managing director Andy Underwood said the traditional bakery market had remained challenging, and that consolidation in the wholesale supply chain was adding further pressure.

“Consequently, we have reviewed and realigned our customer approach to provide more consumer-focused understanding and commercial solutions, which we see as vital to our continued success,” he added.

Operating profit rose from £4.6m to £5.9m as a result of the increased turnover, improved efficiency and tighter cost management, although gross profit dropped slightly from 28.9% to 28.4%. Macphie said this was due to cost inflation and changes in the company’s product mix.

“Looking forward, food inflation is now a well-publicised reality and the recent volatility of the dairy market is providing availability and pricing challenges,” added Underwood. “We closely monitor future market movements and enjoy long-term relationships with our key suppliers, operating a range of mechanics to ensure the best quality for value price.”

Macphie added that, given the international nature of its business, currency exchange rates could have positive and negative impact.

The results illustrated the continuing success of the business, said chairman Alastair Macphie.

“With the current political landscape giving the UK an uncertain economic outlook, as a business we will continue to monitor developments and act to minimise any adverse impact,” he added.

Macphie employs more than 300 workers across three sites; its HQ in Glenbervie,  Aberdeenshire; its facility in Tannochside, North Lanarkshire; and its recently opened Midlands Centre of Excellence outside Coventry.