Fish and chip shop supplier Smales delivered on its growth expectations having swung back into profit a year ago, adding almost 25 per cent to sales.
The latest trading period saw the Hull business’ turnover hit £91.6 million, up from £73.4 million, with operating profit back on a strong footing with a 150 per cent uplift to £4 million. It had turned round loss-making years with the closure of chilled processing operations in the city in a major restructure. Now a significant uplift from the £1.6 million return it saw in the year to September 2021 has been realised, with widening margin.
And while it is conscious of the inflationary impacts on its customer base, the team at the 86-year-old company believe Britain’s best loved takeaway is well placed to ride out the cost-of-living storm, with the added bonus of the strong staycation market.
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Managing director of the West Dock Street business, Lee Smales, said: “The directors are optimistic of further sales growth and an improvement in the company’s market share in supplying the fish and chip shop and food service sectors.
“The company has a loyal and large customer base in the UK’s takeaway fish and chip shops and dine in fish restaurants who saw recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in the financial year. However, the company’s customers are facing ongoing challenges due to the uncertainties caused by the war in Ukraine resulting in significantly increased energy costs. The fish and chip shop sector is also having to deal with rising prices of their core input materials, namely fish, cooking oil and potatoes, the continuing issues caused by a high level of inflation and the increased cost of living affecting the UK’s consumer base.
“On the other hand, the company’s fish and chip shop customers are very resilient and their offering remains competitively priced and a good value, healthy, high-in-protein option as compared with other forms of takeaway food and meals provided by pubs and restaurants.
“The fish and chip shop sector is likely to continue to benefit from more families taking short or long stay holidays in the UK.”
Employee-numbers stayed constant at 96 for the firm, which has a customer base of 2,500.
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