Higgidy in red but revenues up

Sussex premium pie maker Higgidy has recorded a double-digit sales growth for the year, but its recent expansion has pushed it into the red. 

Higgidy’s £2m investment to expand its West Sussex factory was announced in April, after the company won a major food contract, requiring it to double annual output by 2018.

Revenues increased 24% to £22.6m in the year ended 30 September 2015, which the business said was mainly due to growth with Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Booths, as well as the continued development of its meat and vegetarian sausage rolls.

James Foottit, one of the company’s co-founders, said Higgidy has doubled sales from £11m since 2011, and has “outperformed the market” and has “cemented its place” as the nation’s fastest-growing premium savoury pastry brand.

The update said the business had recorded a pre-tax loss of £173k in 2015, compared to a profit of £296k in 2014, as it chased its ambitious target of £50m in sales by 2020.

Higgidy said the loss was largely the result of the 2013 purchase of two neighbouring units at its site in West Sussex, which would allow it to increase production space to 25,000 sq ft.

Foottit said sales were on track to hit £26m in the current 2015/16 financial year. “This coming year we will remain focused on increasing our penetration and developing other channels both within our existing customer base and beyond.

“We will continue to invest in product development with a focus on ranges that can work well for convenience.”

Mark Campbell, Higgidy’s managing director, added: “We’ve invested a huge amount into the business and it is great to see the impact this has had on sales. At Higgidy we are focused on innovation and growing the categories we operate in.

“The expansion of our kitchens onto the neighbouring site will give us the flexibility to take this approach to the next level. Ultimately we want Higgidy to become an enduring British brand known for exciting flavour combinations and homemade quality.”

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