Leicestershire's Pukka Pies digests profits fall
Pukka Pies has blamed a 30 per cent fall in annual profits on its decision to swallow up a rise in the cost of ingredients.
However, the Syston-based pie-maker still managed to increase sales by almost 12 per cent despite the tough trading conditions.
Figures recently released by Companies' House showed the firm made a pre-tax profit of £3.7 million in the year to May 28, compared with £5.3 million the previous year.
Turnover was up £4.2 million to £40.1 million over the same period.
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Joint managing director Tim Storer said: "Ingredients have been going up in price for some time. We are having to absorb some of these price rises. But I'm very to say it's still a healthy profit.
"I'm also happy to see such a healthy rise in sales at such a demanding time. This keeps us efficient and keeps the prices to our customers down.
"I genuinely believe we are offering outstanding value for money, and we haven't cut the amount of ingredients we use, like others have."
Mr Storer said the company would be launching a TV advertising campaign in the new year, alongside a fresh marketing push.
Pukka supplies a range of pies and pasties – including steak and kidney, chicken and mushroom and steak and ale varieties – to hundreds of fish and chip shops, football stadiums and supermarkets across the country. Customers include Tesco, Asda, Aston Villa and Leicester City.
Mr Storer, who runs the 49-year-old business with his brother Andrew, said there were no plans by the family to sell up.
It comes after Loughborough-based sweet supplier Hancocks – founded a year before Pukka – was recently sold by its founding family to the management and a private equity firm in a £50 million deal.
Pukka was founded in 1963 by Tim and Andrew's father Trevor.
"We have zero interest in bringing private equity into the business," said Mr Storer. "We have built up this business organically. And I don't think I've ever enjoyed running it as much as I do now."
Pukka, which produces more than 60 million pies and pasties a year, employs 300 people at its factory in The Halfcroft, Syston. Earlier this year a £7 million extension, which enabled it to double production and create jobs, was opened by Charnwood MP Stephen Dorrell.