Lees Foods invests £1.7m after year success

Lees Foods has announced it will invest £1.7m in its Coatbridge factory to better production of its snowball and teacake products.

It will also look to relaunch the Lees range of confectionery bars, with a new design to the Macaroon bar.

The owners of Lees of Scotland and The Waverley Bakery saw a sales increase of 21% in its end-of-year results to 31 December 2013.

It also saw profit before tax rise from £1.2m to £1.4m, with the continued growth of Lees’ snowballs and teacakes accounting for a large part of the success. 

The company hopes the investment will increase efficiency and quality in the production of its products.

Clive Miquel, chief executive, said: “The fine weather during July and August last year contributed to a significant uplift in sales of Carousel ice-cream cones and wafers, which continued the sales development at the Waverley Bakery.

“Trading to date in 2014 has been encouraging and we have consolidated upon the sales growth achieved last year. Our challenge now is to maintain margins at a time when there is some volatility in commodity prices, especially in coconut and chocolate.

“While Lees continues to have strong sales in Scotland, where it employs over 300 staff, a significant percentage of Lees’ UK sales are south of the border.

“As reported in the company’s annual accounts, we believe that, in the event of Scotland becoming independent and in the absence of a currency union, Lees could be disadvantaged in its dealings with its major UK customers.”

Lees won an ongoing tribunal earlier this year, which resulted in the grant of a tax-free status for its snowball product, after they were classed as cakes. 

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