Mackie’s warns of lower profit after record year
Scotland’s largest ice cream producer Mackie’s of Scotland has warned that rising costs will mean lower profit this year following record results in the previous 12 months.
Operating profit in the year to the end of May 2021 rose 19% to £4.1 million, its highest ever, but significantly slower compared to 60% growth in 2019 and 61% in 2020.
Turnover rose by 11% to £18.5 million against 20% growth in 2019 and 1% in 2020.
Mac Mackie, managing director and one of three family owners at Mackie’s, said: “For the current trading year, sales to our major retailers remains strong, but overall company performance will be affected due to continuing cost increases, and profit is forecast to be lower than in 2020/21.”
During the last trading period, embracing a full year of the pandemic and lockdown measures, the company saw a 40% growth sales in premium ice cream sales in England and Wales, with breakthrough second and third listings in major stores including Sainsbury’s, Asda, the Co-op and Marks & Spencer.
The growth followed a year of investment in the brand with new packaging, a new website and digital advertising campaigns.
Chocolate bars enjoyed a 15% uplift in UK sales, while income was generated from investment in renewable energy, which delivers surplus energy into the grid from a 7000 panel solar farm, four large-scale wind turbines at the fourth-generation Westertown Farm as well as a biomass plant.
Mr Mackie said: “Against a backdrop of the pandemic’s impact on consumer confidence and rising production costs, we are very pleased to have delivered a robust performance and positive financial results which show steady growth for the eighth consecutive year.
“Our focus for the current year will be to build on the improvements that we have made to our production plant and systems to deliver increased output volume, improved quality, and greater cost control and efficiency throughout the business.”
Ongoing product development trialling innovative new flavours and product formats is underway for the 2023 market. A focus on further export growth in Asia, assisted by improved product ranges will help to counter challenging times ahead due to increased production costs.
A real living wage employer, Mackie’s headcount has increased to 95. Staff numbers at the farm increased in order to cope with increased production (with nine more staff) while the staff team at Mackie’s 19.2 were almost halved to six due to less trading during the pandemic.