Heinz pre-tax profits rise to €17.9m

Despite facing "continuing pressures", the Irish branch of Heinz has recorded "modest increase" in turnover during the past year



18 January 2013

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The Irish branch of US food giant Heinz increased its pre-tax profits nearly 20% to £14.6 million (€17.9 million) in the year to the end of April 2012.

HJ Heinz Frozen and Chilled Foods Limited, which has a registered office in Dundalk, and its subsidiary HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) achieved turnover of £97.4 million during the period, "a modest increase" on the previous year, documents filed at the Companies Office show.

Despite these positive results, the manufacturer said that the Irish grocery market is facing "continuing pressures", including a "retailer focus on their own-brand ranges, aggressive competitor activity and demographic changes".

Company directors added that the increase in turnover, up from £96.3 million the previous year, should be looked at against the background of a retrenchment in the frozen ready meals category as a whole.

They said the company had made improvements in its gross margin through "a continuing strong focus on reducing operational costs and maximising returns from promotional activity and media spends".

What’s more, the directors felt "confident" that the company’s frozen foods business will grow in the current financial year due to promotions, brand investment and new product development.

The Heinz parent company manufactures and distributes frozen ready meals and pizzas under the Weight Watchers from Heinz brand, which are sold in the Irish, UK, Swedish and French markets. 

The Dublin-based HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) sells, markets and distributes all Heinz brands, including its Heinz Beanz, Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Heinz soup brands, in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Turnover in this subsidiary business had likewise shown a modest increase, despite commodity cost pressures.
However the directors added that the commercial environment in Ireland will nevertheless "remain highly competitive".



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