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Potato giant Albert Bartlett bags profits rise

Both profits and turnover were up at the company (courtesy: Joe Watson)

Accounts for Albert Bartlett Holdings Limited, which runs the popular Albert Bartlett potato brand, reveal a 14% increase in turnover to £199.985 million for the year to May 31 2020. Pre-tax profits were also up 13% to 9.408m, from £8.324m in the year before.

The accounts show a 16% increase in sales within the UK to £191.166m, however export sales were down on the year. Sales to Europe decreased by 13% to £1.952m, while sales to the rest of the world were down 22% to £8.761m.

In his report, the company’s sole director Ronnie Bartlett said the trading performance had been satisfactory. He said increased turnover was due to continued growth in the company’s core fresh and frozen businesses, as well as growth in its chilled potato products business which launched in 2018.

He said the company had continued to invest in its chilled operations during the year and added to its capacity to meet growing sales volumes.

Ronnie Bartlett:
 
"Further investment was also committed by May 31 2020 which again adds new product lines to our chilled offering as well as further capacity for existing lines,” added Mr Bartlett. This further extension was completed after the year end and new coated, formed products were successfully launched in September 2020."
He said the international business had pulled back volumes in the last year due to “challenging trading conditions” however the Scotty Brand division, which includes soft fruit, salmon and bacon, continued to innovate and bring new products to the market.

Mr Bartlett said the Covid-19 crisis had presented a number of significant challenges to the business.

Ronnie Bartlett:
 
“While sales performance of our company has been robust during this period, in common with other food suppliers, we rapidly had to adapt our production sites to keep all our employees safe while still playing our part in ensuring continuity of food supply,” he added.

“We did feel the negative impact of the lockdown in the retail sector via a drop in sales to the food service sector. Along with the rest of the industry we continue to monitor ongoing performance and adapt our business accordingly.”
The accounts also reveal the company employed an average of 1,085 staff – up from 854 previously – and Mr Bartlett was paid a salary of £950,000 and a dividend of £1.5m. This compares to a salary of £1.051m and a dividend of £1.3m the year before.
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