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Improvement at Loss-making Bernard Matthews

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Improvement at Loss-making Bernard Matthews

Improvement at Loss-making Bernard Matthews
June 25
12:07 2010

UK turkey processor Bernard Matthews has reported a loss before tax, but after exceptional items, of £4m for the year ended January 3rd 2010 on turnover from continuing operations down slightly from £335.1m in 2008 to £330.5m. However, operating profit from continuing operations before exceptional costs rose to £2.5m, from £0.9m in 2008, as initiatives to reduce operating costs continued to deliver significant savings in 2009. Exceptional cost of £2.5m (£0.9m in 2008) were incurred chiefly as a result of restructuring at the group’s Hungarian subsidiary.

According to Noel Bartram, group chief executive of Bernard Matthews, the strategy to move towards profitable growth across the group has continued to bear fruit, with the core UK business showing encouraging results and early signs of improvement at the Hungarian subsidiary following the implementation of a restructuring and cost saving programme. Nevertheless, the Hungarian trading environment remains challenging. The group’s small German subsidiary, Bernard Matthews Oldenburg, has continued its steady improvement in both sales and profitability.

Jeff Halliwell, UK managing director of Bernard Matthews.

“In the UK, we are two years into a four year strategy based on sustained investment while simultaneously reducing operating costs, which have delivered significant savings in 2009. Going forward, our focus will be on championing turkey as a healthy meat and advocating greater turkey consumption, whether that is through the Bernard Matthews Farms brand, retail customers’ own-label products, or food service,” explains Jeff Halliwell, UK managing director of Bernard Matthews. “We believe there is significant scope for growth, especially considering that consumption of turkey in the UK is half that of other European countries.”

Since the year end, Bernard Matthews has completed the acquisition of Lincs Turkeys, an established turkey farmer, based in Lincolnshire, England, specialising in free range and fresh turkey products. Lincs Turkeys complements Bernard Matthews’ UK business and enhances its offering by building its free-range and fresh turkey capability, whilst also supporting the group’s long term growth plans.

The group has launched a new £5m marketing campaign and recruited celebrity chef Marco Pierre White to help drive turkey consumption in the UK and to reposition the Bernard Matthews Farm brand at the upper end of the market.

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