Fakenham firm set to make Tango and Guinness chocolates

The group which owns Fakenham-based chocolate maker Kinnerton has won a licence to create Tango and Guinness chocolates.

Confectionery and snack foods group Zetar Plc reported earlier this week that its revenues were up 2.4pc to �61.8m in its interim results for the six months ending October 31.

The statement said that the confectionery business had seen both growth in revenue and profit as the company grew its everyday products business.

Kinnerton, at Oxborough Lane in Fakenham, which bought its first factory in Fakenham in 1988, makes both seasonal and everyday confectionery, Easter eggs, Advent calendars, chocolate bars, and chocolate figurines as well as luxury and novelty shaped biscuits.

It already has licences with the likes of Disney and the toy manufacturer Mattel. The company also make bespoke products for many of the best known retailers around the world including in France, Australia, Japan and the USA.

The chief executive of the company said Christmas trading had been reasonable despite a 'pronounced' fall in consumer confidence and said that retailers had been cautious and that there was the potential for lower Easter sales than last year.

But it said that it was expecting growth in everyday confectionery to continue with more product launches scheduled.

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Ian Blackburn, chief executive of Zetar Plc, said: 'We are pleased with a good performance in the first half, particularly given the challenging trading environment. Innovation remains at the core of our business and the quality of our product development is endorsed by our portfolio of licensed brands, which has recently been strengthened with the additions of Tango and Guinness.

'While the outlook for Easter remains less certain than usual, due to the pronounced fall in consumer confidence, we remain positive about the strategic direction of the business. We believe that the group's robust business model, combined with its strengthened financial position and progress in extending our portfolio of brands, means that we are well placed to capitalise on future growth opportunities.'

Last year Kinnerton accounted for just over 50pc of the group's turnover. It produces 25 million Easter eggs a year and the most chocolate advent calendars in the country. It employs between 600 and 1,000 people depending on the season.

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