Fresh prepared supplier says its strategy is yielding results ahead of expectations

Bakkavor has reported an encouraging set of results for 2023 on the back of a strong performance in the UK.

Bakkavor is a major supplier of fresh prepared products

Bakkavor is a major supplier of fresh prepared products

Group sales at the supplier of fresh prepared foods, which is a major player in the leafy salad market, were £2.2bn in 2023, representing growth of 3 per cent or 5.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

In the UK, which makes up the majority of its business, like-for-like sales were up 5.7 per cent at £1.85bn.

The company said that in the UK it continued to win market share, driven by strong service, targeted innovation and net business gains.

The only negative for the business came in the US, where revenue fell 8.4 per cent to £230.6m on a like-for-like basis. This was the result of a shift from revenue growth to profit, Bakkavor stressed, with a return to profitabilty in the second half.

There was good news in China, where like-for-like sales were up 32 per cent to £130.9m. Chinese volumes continued to build back after Covid, alongside a diversification into the retail channel as the business becomes cash generative and self sustaining.

Bakkavor noted that its group-wide plan to protect profitability has delivered synergies and efficiencies ahead of expectations.

Chief executive Mike Edwards explained: “2023 required us to develop a decisive and dynamic plan to successfully manage another year of external challenges. We executed this plan at pace and as a result we expect to deliver improved profitability and reduced leverage for the full year.

”As we enter 2024, momentum is building in all three regions, which gives us confidence to deliver further financial improvements in the year ahead. This is clearly important as unprecedented levels of inflation have impacted profit margins over the last two years.”