Baker & Baker in Wirral supplies donuts, muffins, brownies, cookies and breads across Europe and says annual sales have surged more than 23% to £479m. Tony McDonough reports
Wirral-based European bakery giant Baker & Baker is reporting a surge in annual sales but significant restructuring costs have seen losses widen.
Based at Bromborough, Baker & Baker is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of bakery products. It produces donuts, muffins, brownies, cookies, cakes, speciality breads and viennoiserie categories.
It employs more than 550 people at its main factory and headquarters in Stadium Road in Wirral. The firm operates a total of 12 European sites including Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, France Germany and Belgium.
The firm has other sites in the UK, at Daventry, Ashington and Bradford, and also has branches in Poland and Dubai.
Until April 2021 it was a division of US-based CSM Ingredients but now operates as an independent business. In its first full year of independence it saw sales of more than £380m.
In September 2022 Baker & Baker acquired Portuguese custard tart maker Peipen. Based in Peniche, just to the north of Lisbon, Peipen is a leading producer of authentic, largely handcrafted pastel de nata. These are increasingly popular in the UK.
In the last few days the firm has posted its annual accounts on Companies House covering the 12 months to December 31, 2022. All the figures in the accounts are stated in euros and LBN has converted to sterling, at current exchange rates, for this article.
It shows sales for the year of £479m, a 23.8% rise on the £387m reported a year earlier with sales volumes increasing by 6.8%. Pre-tax losses widened to £14.5m from around £5.3m in 2021.
In the report, Baker & Baker said: “The group has experienced higher than normal general and administrative expenses as it implemented the transformational strategy to consolidate, reorganise and streamline the business.
“In addition, the group incurred other additional costs related to, among other things, supply chain and procurement disruption during the year.”
It added it had experienced a “sustained increase” in input costs of raw materials and energy since early in 2033 driven mainly by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
To offer what it says is a more accurate snapshot of its trading performance, Baker & Baker also published its EBITDA figure, which is an alternative measure of profitability. This came in at more than £18m.
Directors at the firm shared salaries, pension payments and bonuses totalling £1.15m in 2022. The highest paid director received £494,000.
In May LBN reported the firm had agreed a deal with leading UK food redistribution charity FareShare to donate products and ingredients from its four sites.