Scottish biscuit maker Walker's Shortbread has announced a 16% increase in annual turnover, to £164.4 million (€189.6 million), in its most recent financial year, with top-line growth driven by the US and UK markets.
The family-owned company, which is based in Aberlour, Speyside, said that UK sales rose by 23%, to £77 million (€88.8 million), in the year to 31 December 2022, while export revenues rose by close to 10%, to £87.6 million (€101 million).
In 2021, Walker's unveiled a company rebrand, which continued throughout 2022, helping to lift sales. The reopening of international travel also helped boost its travel retail business.
At the same time, however, pressure on global supply chains, coupled with a 'challenging' inflationary environment, impacted profits at the business, which dipped slightly, from £6.2 million (€7.15 million) to £6 million (€6.92 million), it noted.
'The business sought to mitigate these challenges by introducing new production efficiencies and procurement strategies, both which contributed gains in the year, however, it was insufficient to mitigate the cost pressures in full,' the company said in a statement.
Commenting on the firm's performance, managing director Nicky Walker said that he was pleased to see demand return so strongly in 2022 following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The year presented numerous hurdles, however, not least the continuing restrictions in the local labour market, but also substantial price increases coming from our suppliers," he said. "This volatility forced a review of all our incoming costs, with proactive conversations held with our entire supply chain.”
Walker added that the continued rollout of the relaunch is likely to support further growth both this year and in 2024.
“I’d again like to acknowledge the support of our incredible team, whose efforts are invaluable to the business," he noted. "It was especially pleasing that as part of our 125th anniversary celebrations in June we were able to say thank you to them in person, along with their families, at a company event.
“I, along with the board and executive committee, continue to focus our efforts on moving the business forward, further developing it for a bright, sustainable future."