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Yarmouth food firm has successful recipe

PUBLISHED: 18:24 27 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:09 03 July 2010

A GREAT Yarmouth pasta and snack manufacturer has returned to profit after a £500,000 turnaround in fortunes.

Pasta Foods, which employs 126 at its plant at Pasteur Road, reported a net profit of £90,000 in accounts for the year ending May 2 after losing £411,000 the previous year because of record rises in wheat prices.

A GREAT Yarmouth pasta and snack manufacturer has returned to profit after a £500,000 turnaround in fortunes.

Pasta Foods, which employs 126 at its plant at Pasteur Road, reported a net profit of £90,000 in accounts for the year ending May 2 after losing £411,000 the previous year because of record rises in wheat prices.

The company, which sells pasta, pasta products and snacks to 40 countries worldwide, achieved a 10pc increase in volumes of products sold, which coupled with rising prices resulted in a 28pc increase in turnover to £21.6m.

While wheat prices fell slightly, energy prices were “significantly higher” than in previous years, according to the directors' report, but the increased costs were partly offset by decreased waste and efficient production practices.

The weak pound increased the costs of raw materials, much of which is bought in euros from northern Europe, but managing director Peter Barry said the low value of sterling had benefited the company overall, with income from exports up slightly at £8.4m.

Sales of pasta were up significantly in both revenue and volume, and turnover from semolina and snack products was up slightly despite slight reductions in volume.

Mr Barry said: “The cereal crop was pretty poor across the world in 2007/08, and prices of wheat went up three or four-fold. We had to recover those costs by increasing prices to most of our customers, so automatically turnover goes up, but costs go up too.

“We have been winning accounts in the Middle East and Far East and we have increased volume overall. We know that we have some capacity in our export side and want to try and find markets to fill that capacity.”

He added the company was looking to increase business with North America, the world's biggest snack market, and had recently recruited a new sales director, Peter Foster, who had worked extensively overseas, and was also planning to invest in improvements at the Yarmouth factory.

The directors' report said: “Underlying raw material prices and energy costs continue to exert upwards price pressure in the current year.

“Costs are being managed tightly and along with excellent customer service the business is able to offer product solutions that are difficult to match.”


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