Success tastes good for Endless-backed pasty company as turnaround continues

THE West Cornwall Pasty Co has hailed the continued success of the business following its buyout by Leeds-based private equity house Endless.

For the year ending March 2016, the company said it had continued to cement its reputation as “one of the best performing like for like sales growth food businesses in the retail market” with sales figures of £13m and underlying like-for-like sales increasing by 7.6%. 

EBITDA increasing by 85% to £1.02m (2015 £0.55m), which it called “an impressive turnaround success story of over £1.8m in just under two years.”

Executive chairman Chris Peck said: “West Cornwall Pasty Co is a brand in high demand, our strategic shift towards a profile raising lifestyle approach has influenced a robust fast track growth plan especially in the travel and sports sector with a proven track record of significant impact. 

“Continued investment into strong communication and engagement with our expanding customer base, innovating with new headline products and exciting new generation store refurbishments has placed the spotlight well and truly on all brand activity both digitally and at store level.”

The company said that since the year end commercial progress has been continued at pace, targeting new sales channels have proving fruitful including retail designer outlets such as McArthur Glenn in Swindon.

West Cornwall Pasty Co also announced a new contract with Welcome Break to supply cooked chilled branded products across its entire Waitrose estate, while the brand continues to develop its large franchise contract with Moto Hospitality across 18 units over the Motorway network and are enjoying a successful new brand presence in BP petrol station forecourts.

New developments in rail travel sees new generation railway station sites opening with Preston and Surbiton, followed by new units in Norwich, Peterborough and Southampton stations. The brand is also in discussion with a number of airports.

The company said a brand priority has always been to establish strong long term relationships in the sports sector. As a result, a long term contract has been signed securing the retail outlets at Twickenham stadium, plus a three year sponsorship deal with the RFU's All Schools Programme charity.

Driving a high profile brand presence at premier outside sports and leisure events has also increased during the year including the Cheltenham Festival, Silverstone, Wembley, The Millennium Stadium and both the SSE Glasgow and Wembley Arenas.

Mr Peck said: “We are pleased with the results so far; since the year end trading remains very robust with LFL sales up in double digit growth. We expect another year of substantial profit growth, as we continue to innovate and engage with current and new customers. Our aim is, as ever to maintain quality products which are excellent value for money and to further inspire customers to engage with and enjoy the new direction of the brand.”

The West Cornwall Pasty Co business was restructured following a buyout by Endless after it had appointed administrators from PwC in April 2014.

Following this, Endless bought 35 stores under the brand, saving 200 jobs in the process, using its SME fund Enact for the first time.

Prior to administration, West Cornwall Pasty Co had been struggling with loss-making, underperforming stores and the effects of the ‘pasty tax', which was implemented by Chancellor George Osborne in an attempt to simplify the taxation of hot takeaway food.