Turnover at a county food manufacturer grew to almost £1 billion last year, according to documents filed at Companies House.
Samworth Brothers, the maker of Ginsters pasties and Dickinson and Morris pork pies, said sales for the year to the end of December came in at £956 million, a rise of 5.6 per cent on 2015.
However, profits at the Melton-based firm saw only a tiny increase, up from £45.6 million to £45.8 million.
The company said the market place continues to be “very challenging”.
A statement signed off by the board said: “The market place continues to be very challenging as we face uncertainty around Brexit and enter a period of material cost inflation but, by working closely with our major customers, we will seek out new opportunities in 2017 to successfully grow our customers’ own business.”
The company added that it had been a “satisfactory” year.
It said: “In a competitive food market with average industry growth of 1 per cent, like for like sales rose 6.8 per cent (7.7% in 2015). However there does continue to be significant challenges in the marketplace, most particularly sustained raw material price rises due to harvest situations, increased global demand and currency fluctuations.”
It was another year of significant capital investment for the group with £52.6 million invested in various improvements, taking Samworth’s total investment in capital projects across the business over the last five years to over £187.3 million.
Samworth Bros’ new Oak Meadow facility
The company recently announced that dozens of new jobs could be created at a £12 million food distribution centre which has just opened on the outskirts of Leicester.
Around 380 staff have already relocated to Samworth Brothers’ new Oak Meadow warehouse on the former British Shoe Corporation site in Braunstone Frith.
The 155,000 sq ft distribution hub is three times the size of an existing facility it replaces in Meridian Business Park.
Samworth Brothers also owns companies including Bradgate Bakery, Melton Foods, Blueberry Foods, Kensey Foods, Brooksby Foods, Kettleby Foods, Saladworks, Walkers Deli, Walkers Sausage Co, Walkers Pies and Tamar Foods.