Patisserie Valerie up 13.2% as expansion continues

Revenue across the Patisserie Valerie brand has risen 13.2% in the past half-year.

Sales rose £5.4m to £45.8m in the six months ended 31 March, while sales across brand owner Patisserie Holdings increased 9.1% to £60.5m. EBITDA rose 11.6% to £13.6m, and pre-tax profit 14.2% to £11.1m.

The company said the period had got off to a strong start, boosted by its festive range, but that sales were later hampered by bad weather conditions.

“However, thanks to our vertically integrated supply chain and the flexibility of our workforce, we were able to limit the impact on profit,” stated Patisserie Holdings. “We finished the period strongly with a record Mother’s Day weekend and a good lead-up to Easter.”

The business opened 10 new stores over the period and said it was on track to meet its target of 20 openings across the full year. The openings included five new locations: Basingstoke, Wigan, Cwmbran, Chesterfield and Carlisle. Three further sites – Lancaster, Battersea and Belfast Forestside – are set to open by the end of this month.

Patisserie Holdings added that all its openings were profitable from the first week of trading and were all funded from operating cash flows.

The business relaunched its website in February, which it said had contributed to an online sales rise of 62% to £2.6m. The new site includes video imagery of products, tablet/mobile compatibility and a streamlined checkout process.

It is trialling initiatives in selected stores, including a new menu, a new savoury range and in-store bake-off of morning goods.

Having last year launched a partnership with Sainsbury’s, the company now has counters in 31 Sainsbury’s stores and 14 click-and-collect locations, and said it would soon be going into a further 10 Sainsbury’s stores.

Patisserie Holdings said it remained proactive in managing its cost base and had seen a reduction in the prices of some core ingredients.

“We benefited in the period from a number of contract renegotiations and, in some cases, switched suppliers to mitigate inflationary pressures, along with production efficiencies from investment in our bakeries in the prior year,” it stated.

The group had delivered a strong set of results in a sector that has well-documented challenges, said executive chairman Luke Johnson.

“Our vertically integrated and flexible business model enables us to deliver consistent profits, with our affordable treats remaining popular with our very diverse customer base.

“We remain focused on organic growth and, with a strong balance sheet, continue to assess acquisition opportunities that will have a strategic and cultural fit.”

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