Walker’s Shortbread has posted a near 25% plunge in profits but significantly higher sales.
The Aberlour company said 2022 results were impacted by post-pandemic challenges including global supply chain pressures, intensified by the conflict in Ukraine, and rocketing overheads.
Operating profits for Walker’s remained more or less flat at around £6 million.
But at pre-tax level, profits plummeted to £5.1m last year from nearly £6.8m in 2021.
Walker’s turnover raced ahead by 16% in 2022
Meanwhile, turnover soared by £22m, or 16%, to £164.6m as the company benefitted from increased sales in domestic and overseas markets. UK sales rose by 23% to £77m last year, from £62.6m previously, while export revenue grew nearly 10% to £87.6m.
Walker’s exports its iconic shortbread all over the world. It also has retail outlets in Aberlour, Elgin and Aviemore, as well as a thriving business supplying corporate customers.
It was pleasing to see demand return in a substantial way through 2022 after a couple of challenging years during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Nicky Walker, managing director
The company confirmed annual accounts were submitted to Companies House on time on Friday.
In a statement from the company announcing its results, Mr Walker described last year’s financial performance as “pleasing”.
He said: “It was pleasing to see demand return in a substantial way through 2022 after a couple of challenging years during 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.
“This volatility forced a review of all our incoming costs, with proactive conversations held with our entire supply chain.”
Profits dipped from £6.2m to £6m compared to the previous trading year.
Rebrand ‘exceptionally well received’, says managing director
Walker’s said its sales growth was underpinned by a rebrand in 2021 which continued in 2022.
Mr Walker said a post-pandemic lift and return to travel and tourism were key.
He added: “The Walker’s brand relaunch was exceptionally well-received last year.
“We are excited at the prospect of the continued rollout through the remainder of this year and into next as we look forward to support the business’s aspiration for sustainable growth.”
The MD continued: “I’d again like to acknowledge the support of our incredible team, whose efforts are invaluable to the business.
“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.”
The accounts show the group employed ,1253 people on average during 2022, about the same as the year before.