EARNINGS TREBLE AS CAKE MAKER’S RECOVERY CONTINUES

Earnings have trebled at Bright Blue Foods, with chief executive Jonathan Lill commenting that the management team is "restoring the business back to health" following a difficult couple of years.

Bright Blue Foods has generated EBITDA of £4.1m for the year ending 24 June 2017, up by 215 per cent a year earlier. The company also reported pre-tax profits on ordinary activities of £320,000 compared to losses of £5.8m a year earlier.

Meanwhile, sales climbed by 2 per cent to £60.1m.

Lill said: "We're restoring the business back to health. It needed it as 2014 and 2015 were very difficult years for Bright Blue Foods.

"In terms of fixing the basics, we've done those. We're now moving into a growth phase."

According to the accounts, Bright Blue Foods had an average of 911 employees in 2016/17 compared to 1,003 staff a year earlier.

The company, which posted sales of £80.5m in the year ending 28 June 2014, has undergone significant change in recent years. Endless acquired the business for an undisclosed sum in September 2015 and has since overseen a major programme of investment, which has included bringing in new management and introducing more efficient equipment.

Lill, who has more than 30 years' experience in food manufacturing including lengthy stints at Morrisons and Northern Foods, joined in early 2016.

He said: "The market at the moment is challenging, especially with ingredients like butter increasing in price and currency fluctuations. But the growth opportunities are there."

Headquartered in Blackburn, Bright Blue Foods has bakeries in Blackburn (two), Bradford and Szczecin in Poland. It supplies supermarkets across the UK and Europe with products such as mince pies, Swiss rolls, tarts and Christmas cakes.