SOARING chocolate sales and ice cream growth that bucked a wider market decline have combined to help a leading Scottish food brand achieve record revenues.
Mackie’s of Scotland has recorded a 20% increase in annual turnover to £16.7 million with a 60% spike in operating profits to £2.1 million, for the financial year ending May 2019.
A key driver included sales of chocolate, which grew 63% on the previous year off the back of recipe refinement, with growth within Scotland and surging orders in key export markets boosted further by the introduction of a smaller 35g bar across its four flavours.
Ice cream sales also grew, with its traditional flavour remaining Scotland’s top selling ice cream product while rising to the fourth throughout the entire UK, against a total market decline of 1.8%. The firm is now targeting further market expansion in London and the south east.
Across the entire business, revenues from exports increased by 72%, with the US and Far East markets developing at pace.
Its Aberdeen parlour, Mackie’s 19.2, also saw sales increase by 136% as it established itself as the city’s ice cream and dessert destination.
Mac Mackie, Managing Director and one of three sibling owners, said: “This has been a quite extraordinary set of results for the business.
“While this set of results undoubtedly benefited from 2018’s glorious summer weather, beyond that this was no fluke. We’ve worked over the years to grow, cut costs and diversify the business across products and markets.
“Our dedicated and immensely loyal team is central to everything good that we do – and we were able to provide all staff with a 5% bonus, reflecting our gratitude to everyone involved.
“I’m especially delighted to see our chocolate range maturing and further establishing itself as a go-to choice for many at home and abroad.”
“This past year’s success is enabling us to make a serious investment in improving our operations, which will in the longer term increase our sustainability and secure job opportunities for more staff in our native Aberdeenshire and beyond.”
The firm is driving profits back into the business, with a key focus for the current year being the creation of a £4.5 million state-of-the-art and environmentally-friendly refrigeration system that will reduce both energy use and CO2 emissions by 80%.
This follows on from £300,000 investment in new machinery and a factory expansion to enable it to produce lids for its two litre of which, of which it produced two million last year, cutting transport and environmental costs.
The company’s net assets were up by 12.2% and operating profit continued to rise, standing at £2.1 million. Overall costs increased by 17% on the previous year, in keeping with the growth in outputs – and the firm was able to grow its headcount by seven to 83.
The company produces more than 70% of the energy required for the business and renewable energy generation on its Aberdeenshire farm contributed almost £1m to turnover of the business in 2018/19.
Mac added: “Through our huge investment in our state-of-the-art freezer system, we’re bidding to become 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy by 2020 alongside our aim to have the most efficient factory in the UK for the production of quality dairy ice cream.
“Sustainability and long-term business efficiency improvements are our big focus for the year ahead.
“We know we can’t simply rest on our laurels and it will take a huge effort across our organisation to cope with these changes and to get near to the success of our business-defining financial year.”
Mackie’s ‘sky to scoop’ ethos sees it create everything, from its dairy products from the herd to its packaging, on site. The fourth generation family farm started producing ice cream in 1986.