Tayto Crisps owner Manderley Group sees profits soar despite market challenges

Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE parent company of Co Armagh firm Tayto Crisps saw its profits soar in the last year despite the fierce competition in the UK snacks market.

Manderley Food Group, headquartered in Corby and whose directors include the Hutchinson family who founded Tayto in Tandragee 60 years ago, made a pre-tax profit of £14.4 million on a turnover of £174.2 million in the 12 months to last June.

And after tax, the profits shot up from £2.9m to just shy of £5m, according to figures submitted to Companies House.

It signals a remarkable turnaround for the company, which just four years ago reported bottom line losses of more than £15m.

The Manderley Group is the parent name of the group of companies bought by the Hutchinson family members who originally founded Tayto Crisps in 1956.

They started the growth spurt in 2006 by acquiring the Corby and Scunthorpe sites of the former Golden Wonder business, and a year later acquired Sirhowy Valley Foods, makers of the Real Crisps range.

Acquisitions followed of Red Mill Snack foods and then Jonathan Crisp, self-styled as the "crisp for snobs" and renowned for its memorable caricature-type illustrations featured on each pack.

Over several years since then the company underwent a rationalisation programme and, given what had been a "distress purchase" in the case of Jonathan Crisp, had various impairment charges to meet.

But its latest financials suggest the company has emerged buoyant at the other end.

In its statement with the financial report, the directors said: "The crisps and snack market continues to be challenging due to significant competition in the retail sector and continued pressure on consumers.

"But while there is the continued risk of volatility of raw material prices (potatoes), the directors are confident that the group has adequate resources to continue operating for the foreseeable future."

The figures show that Manderley's staff numbers fell slightly over the last year from 1,419 to 1,378, though its wages bill increased from £33.7m to £34.6m.

The four directors of the company - Raymond Hutchinson, Anna Hutchinson-Kane, Stephen Hutchinson and Paul Allen - were paid a total of £1,764,749.

The highest-paid director received a remuneration package of £578,406.

Adjustments to tax charges over the previous year saw Manderley's current tax bill for the year fall by more than £1.6 million to £2.1m.


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