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European Sales help John West net increased profit
by Alex Turner - 06/01/2011
"LIVERPOOL-BASED canned fish company John West Foods has continued to make progress in choppy waters, with a marked improvement in its operational performance."
It saw sales rise 3.7%, to £171.5m, in the year to March, 2010, thanks to strong growth in its European markets which it translated into a 36% rise in its operating profit, to £3.70m.
The company attributed its performance in a “highly competitive” marketplace to its pricing policy and market research which, it says, enables it “to improve its market position”.
John West, which employs 67 people at its Tithebarn Street headquarters, has had roots in the city for more than 120 years, since two Liverpool merchants bought the rights to use the name in 1888 when they began importing salmon.
It trades in 38 markets throughout Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa, North and South America, and claims brand leader status in the United Kingdom, Holland and Ireland.
UK sales rose 2.2% to £143.0m last year, with European sales up 31.7% to £23.5m. However, there was a 35.0% fall in sales to the rest of the world, which generated £5.1m.
Last July, John West’s owner, MW Brands, was bought for £568m by Thailand’s biggest producer and exporter of canned fish, Thai Union Frozen Products, from private equity firm Trilantic Capital Partners.
John West was bought by Unilever in 1963, then bought by food giant Heinz in 1997, which in turn sold it on to Trilantic in 2006.
Prior to last year’s deal, MW Brands had reorganised its group structure which saw Ghana-based Pioneer Food Cannery moved out of John West’s ownership and into the French parent company.
This resulted in John West receiving a final dividend of £16.8m and a profit on disposal of £14.8m. The £31.6m gain distorts its pre-tax profits, increasing them from £1.3m in 2009 – a figure reduced by an exceptional £1.4m loss on a financing charge – to £35.6m.
However, the accounts, just filed at Companies House, do show improving profitability. Its wage bill was trimmed by 5%, saving £190,000, while it reduced stock levels by more than £10m.
Read More http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/ldpbusiness/business-local/2011/01/05/e uropean-sales-help-john-west-net-increased-profit-92534-27934265/#ixzz1AFYJu 3xH
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