Prepared foods manufacturer Bakkavor has reported ‘strong’ and ‘resilient’ performance in 2020 amid the pandemic, the company said in a trading update.
The company saw an encouraging recovery in sales at the end of the first half that continued into the second.
However, group revenue for the full year was 4.9% lower than the previous year, the company said.
The Group expects adjusted EBITDA (pre-IFRS 16) for the full year 2020, broadly in line with the £138 million reported in 2019.
Agust Gudmundsson, chief executive officer, said, “These are unprecedented times, but the hard work and dedication of our teams, together with our scale and long-standing customer relationships, has delivered a strong and resilient performance.
“I am incredibly proud of our colleagues who have gone above and beyond in the toughest of circumstances. Their performance has been exceptional, and I would like to thank them once again.”
In the UK, the company saw a recovery in sales after the first COVID-19 lockdown was lifted.
In the final quarter, volumes were adversely impacted by further restrictions, particularly within the food-to-go category.
Overall, UK like-for-like sales for the full year were 5.3% lower than last year.
The company delivered Christmas volumes in line with the previous year and maintained very high customer service levels through careful planning and preparation.
Bakkavor’s US business grew by 12.7% on a like-for-like basis, driven by the growing trend for frozen products and food (FPF) and greater collaboration with customers.
With a strategic restructuring of its operations, this revenue uplift led to a turnaround in performance and secured sustainable and profitable growth in the second half of the year.
In China, the food manufacturer’s revenues declined by 21.6% due to the pandemic.
The company added that it is well-prepared for the UK’s exit from the European Union.
It collaborated closely with suppliers and customers to put in place processes to mitigate any disruption in supplies.
Gudmundsson added, “Notwithstanding the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we have a sound business model and solid platform that leaves us well placed to navigate the current environment and achieve long-term sustainable growth.”
The company will announce full-year results on 16 March 2021.