Melton-based food giant bouncing back after Covid

Melton-based Samworth Brothers says it is on the road to recovery after the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Samworth Brothers.
Samworth Brothers.

The food giant has detailed the devastation wrought by the health crisis on the business from March last year which at one point saw sales on its most profitable line, Food to Go, plummet by more than 70 per cent.

Releasing its annual results for last year, the company states: “2020 was a very difficult and challenging year due to the impact of the pandemic.

“We saw some very sudden and immediate changes to food purchasing habits that had a significant impact on the business.

“At the peak of the first lockdown our Food to Go sales dropped by over 70 per cent, although sales recovered as the year continued.

“However total Food to Go sales across the year fell by 19%. We also saw declines in sales in Meals and in our brands, driven by reduced footfall in our West Cornwall Pasty Co outlets.”

The firm’s figures shows total sales dropped 9.2 per cent from £996 million in 2019 to £905 million last year.

The business recorded a loss before tax of £11.1 million compared to a profit before tax of £29.1 million in 2019.

Samworths also invested more than £10 million in various safeguards to keep staff safe during Covid-19 with many still in place.

The group paid £92 million tax to the UK Exchequer in 2020. No dividend was paid to shareholders.

A spokesman said: “In 2021 we have got back on track and our trading performance is now more positive.

“Food to Go sales, that were so impacted by the 
various lockdowns, have returned to more normal levels and we are seeing positive trading in other parts of the business.”