Sweet success for chocolate manufacturer posting bumper results
- Credit: Ian Burt
Chocolate is clearly the antidote to the Brexit blues, with Norfolk's own confectionary manufacturing company bucking the retail gloom with a healthy balance book.
Kinnerton Confectionary is based near Fakenham, and has seen profits soar this year despite European trade wobbling.
Kinnerton makes some of the most recognisable chocolate products on supermarket shelves, including Disney Easter eggs and Peppa Pig lollipops.
MORE: Businesses rejoice as glorious Easter weather helps in huge footfall boostThe company has 995 employees working mostly in the production of their products, with a few hundred working in administration and marketing.
The company upped revenue to £80.96m this year from £80.65m last year.
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Director Dominic Lowe said the boost to turnover had been created by 'improvements to operational cost efficiencies' and 'greater focus on margin performance'.
The combination of factors resulted in the firm's gross profit margin increasing by 22%, an improvement on the 20% of last year.
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However, it hasn't been plain sailing for the company, with the directors acknowledging 'continuing challenging trading environments with the consequential pressure on margins'.
The company has also seen a depression in sales from around the globe – with revenue falling across both Europe and the rest of the world.
European sales fell from £8.3m to £5.8m, with sales further afield bringing in £2m compared to £3.2m.
This was alluded to in the report, with Mr Lowe writing: 'An uncertainty the company and industry are facing are those resulting to the ongoing Brexit negotiations. The company has a risk management strategy to mitigate the impact of import/export duties, currency movements and the supply of labour uncertainties.'
However, this was recouped and more thanks to booming domestic demand, with sales jumping around £4m from £69m to more than £73.
The company also expressed their confidence by investing in four companies throughout 2018.
Kinnerton brought 100% of the shares in two dormant companies, as well as Lir Chocolates and Derwent Lynton – both of which are confectionary manufacturers.
Mr Lowe wrote in the report: 'The company continues to invest in new product development, to ensure that product ranges are profitable in order to maintain and grow market share. We continue to monitor trends and developments in the confectionary sector to ensure the company is well placed to deliver and meet consumer expectations.'