Bakery manufacturers on the up but retail slides

09 October, 2009
Page 10 

Despite the economic downturn, there has been an increase in the number of bakery manufacture businesses, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

A total of 1,915 businesses registered as producers of bread, fresh pastry and cakes in March 2009, compared to 1,815 the previous year. Out of those, 85 (4.4%) turned over more than £5m, while 610 saw sales of between £100,000 and £249,000.

Meanwhile, the statistics released on September 30 show that there was a net loss of 215 bakery retail businesses over the year to March 2009, with smaller businesses hardest hit. There were 3,140 VAT-registered bakery retail businesses in March 2009, compared to 3,355 in March 2008, amounting to a 6.4% drop in the number of retail bakery businesses last year.

Some 405 of the businesses registering as bakery retailers were less than two years old while 50% or 1,575 were more than 10 years old.

The businesses generally fell into the £100,000 and £249,000 turnover bracket, with 1,210 (38.5%) having a turnover in that range. Only 30 had a turnover of over £5m.

The majority of the businesses, some 1,710 or 54.4%, employed fewer than five people. Eighty of the 3,140 (or 2.5%) registered employed more than 50 people.

Scottish Association of Master Bakers chief executive Kirk Hunter commented: "There is a degree of rationalisation and consolidation going on during these difficult economic times. Planning law on out-of-town developments is certainly undermining high street bakers, although we hope there will be a change of government policy."

Difficulty in passing the family business on to the next generation was also a factor, he added.

The data is based on firms that turn over more than £68,000, which must register for VAT.





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