Dicksons Pork Butchers’ profits fall over £1 million

South Shields-based Dicksons Pork Butchers has experienced a substantial decrease in profit for the year ending 30 June 2016, although the company remains positive about the future. 

After taxation, profit came in at £216,010. This is down from £1,415,519 for the year previous. This was attributed to investments in production and packaging to meet wholesale demands, increased commodity prices and “pressures on labour costs”.

The firm experienced a growth of 13% within the retail sector, after opening two new stores and refurbishing two of its existing stores to bring them in line with current stores.

Overall growth in the company’s wholesale arm came in below expectations, although like-for-like sales did increase by 4%. Competition from the German discounters proved a challenge for Dicksons.

Meanwhile, a delayed launch in new packaging contributed towards slower-than-expected growth. Moving forward, Dicksons claimed that growth in the wholesale sector was expected to gather pace in the second half of 2017, with new line launches planned for late spring, complete with upgraded packaging designs.

“Our accounts for the year to June 2016 reflect a busy 12 months for Dicksons,” said Chris Hayman, managing director at MI Dickson Ltd. “The planned rise in shop numbers and investment into existing retail units has brought 13% growth to our retail sector – we expect this to continue as we increase our retail estate from 29 to 40 shops by 2020. Sustainable growth in other areas of the business remains a strong focus as we seek to expand our reach within the foodservice sector and national retailers.”

He commented that, for this financial period, the firm was focused on building foundations to support its strategy to expand its retail network and to grow its wholesale division. “To fulfil our ambitious plans and ensure we are well-placed to address the challenge of growth as many long-serving, experienced staff members prepare for retirement, we have recruited a number of key positions at a cost to the business,” Hayman explained.

“Likewise, we have invested in our production and packaging to better meet the demands of the wholesale sector. This inevitably incurred extra costs, which the business itself financed, and impacted on short-term profits in addition to rising commodity prices and pressures on labour costs.

“We expect to see a similar set of results for the current financial year as we continue to grow our business through what has been a period of chance and significant investment.”

Late last year, Dicksons made four new senior appointments to help grow the retail and wholesale markets. Hayman was announced as the businesses managing director in May 2016. He is the first person outside the Dickson family to hold the position.

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