North West cake maker sees sales rise by 63%

Jonathan Lill
X The Business Desk

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BBF, a manufacturer of own label, licensed and branded cakes and desserts, has revealed total sales growth of 63%, to £98.1m, in the year to June 2018.

However, the acquisition, and turnaround of Greencore’s cake and chilled desserts facility in Hull, which completed last February, contributed to a pre-tax loss of £1.129m, compared with a pre-tax profit of £341,000 in 2017. BBF said EBITDA grew by 10% to £4.5m.

Headquartered in Blackburn, BBF operates four bakeries across the North of England and one in Poland.

Its clients include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, M&S, Morrisons, Aldi, Waitrose, Co-op, Iceland and Lidl.

Excluding the acquisition, BBF experienced revenue growth of 21% and has invested further in new baking capability, efficiency projects and additional capacity to support customers and the group’s overall growth strategy.

This led to the company reporting EBITDA growth of 2.4% to £4.2m.

BBF said the results come against a backdrop of significant commodity price inflation and unfavourable foreign exchange rates following a fall in the value of sterling, with the strong financial performance being achieved through efficiency improvements, capital investment and a focus on product innovation and quality.

Chief executive Jonathan Lill said: “To have achieved such significant growth in a very competitive market with the current commodity price inflation and currency headwinds is testament to our ongoing commitment to quality, innovation and efficiency.

“Our strong performance during the financial year has put us in an excellent position to achieve our short to medium term business goals and we anticipate being able to report further sales and EBITDA growth for the year ending June 2019.”

He added: “We are particularly encouraged to be delivering year-on-year EBITDA growth, despite the challenging economic environment and market place, and we will continue to build on our solid platform for revenue growth, both in the UK and Europe.

“This year has been one of huge success for BBF; we’ve received significant funding which gives us the extra firepower required to make further investment across our manufacturing facilities in Bradford, Hull, Blackburn and Poland.

“Our acquisition of Greencore’s cake and chilled desserts facility in Hull completed last February and while that move enabled us to double our turnover, we knew taking this step would impact our pre-tax losses due to the associated costs of buying and restructuring the business. However, within a very short timeframe we have restructured the business and it is already generating an operating profit. Looking ahead to our financial year end for 2019, we anticipate seeing further profit progress.”