Pukka sees profits fall despite rise in turnover

Pukka Pies has reported a slight increase in turnover, although rising costs have contributed to a drop in profits.

Profit before tax at the Leicestershire-based business was £3.6m for the period from 31 May 2016 to 29 May 2017, down from £6.5m in the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Turnover rose from £44.8m to £45.8m over the period, which the company said was a result of focusing on the most profitable parts of the business.

In January 2017, Pukka kicked off a brand relaunch that included new-look packaging and an £8m marketing investment, including TV advertising.

The business has also taken on a new CEO, with Deborah Ewan taking the reins last September. Ewan, previously of 2 Sisters and Greencore, took over from Rachael Bouch who left after five years to join SHS Group as MD for its condiments and sauces division.

While stating that raw materials inflation had affected its cost base, Pukka reported that the business had continued to operate satisfactorily and that the directors believed there was “a strong platform in place to allow for sustained growth within the industry”.

“Their focus continues to be to meet the needs of the customer base by delivering a superior-quality product, offering excellent value for money, with best-in-industry service levels,” it added.

Citing Kantar Worldpanel data to 31 December 2017, Pukka said its market penetration had risen from 15% to 17.1%. This was equivalent to an additional 614,000 buyers, it added.

Pukka Pies recently signed off its three year 2018-2020 strategy, which it said included “ambitious plans for driving growth in the retail and foodservice sectors”.

The company is aiming to expand its factory and create 150 jobs. Late last year, it submitted a planning application to Charnwood Borough Council for a production and distribution facility that will extend the company’s existing manufacturing and distribution complex at The Half Croft, Syston.

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