Chaucer Foods 'cautiously optimistic' for future after profits boost

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 21 Nov 2018

A Hull-headquartered food company has revealed a profit boost, but has warned the marketplace remains “highly competitive.”

Chaucer Foods, which moved to Hull in 1988 to be closer to its two main suppliers – Jacksons for bread and AAK for oils – recorded profits of $8.7m in 2017 – up from $7.5m the previous year.

Turnover did however slide at the food supplier, as Chaucer Foods cited “continued price pressures” and “significant pressure in raw material costs” in its recently-filed accounts.

In a statement covering the results, Paul Frampton, chief financial officer at Chaucer, said: “The markets in which the company operates remain highly competitive with continued price pressure from customers, as well as significant upward pressure in raw material costs and other input costs.

“The company continues to trade in a difficult environment for food manufacturers, however the directors remain cautiously optimistic about the future.

Chaucer Foods' Nigel Nelson, chief operations officer; Paul Frampton, chief financial officer; Tom Malkoski, chairman and chief executive; Steve Moon, chief commercial officer; and Philippe Pirolo, group R&D director. (Bluestorm)

“The company continues with its efforts to further develop and expand the product and customer base of the business.”

Chaucer Foods was originally founded in Kent back in 1980, under the name of Knevitts.

In 1982 it became Chaucer Foods, before moving to Hull in 1988 to be closer to suppliers.

Read more: Hull fine food company Hider has expanded - and will now personalise your jams and biscuits

The business enjoyed a strong year in the UK in 2017, with turnover rising to almost $3m from $2.8m in 2016.

However, European markets saw a decline – dropping from $10.2m to $8.7m.

Chaucer’s turnover in North America also dipped from $49.3m to $46.1m last year.

“Our objectives are to be the leading technology-led ingredients supplier globally, and to profitably grow the business," Mr Frampton continued.

The business has recorded a profits boost. (Peter Harbour)

“Fulfilling the needs of our customers requires the company to supply products of the highest quality at a competitive price.

“The company continues to invest in new product developments and innovations that are key in helping to grow the business and expand into new market sectors.”

Read more: Work begins on world class Cranswick facility

Hull food businesses have enjoyed a strong year overall.

Cranswick announced profits before tax of more than £90m earlier this year – up 22.4 per cent on the previous year.

Revenue was up 18 per cent to £1.46bn at the well-known sausage manufacturer, with exports also seeing a major 30.2 per cent rise.

It was a similar story over at Turner Price, where turnover passed the £60m for the first time in the 2017/18 year.

The figure – up more than £5m from 2017 – was a new high for the food company, which was founded in the city in 1992.

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