Tayto online sales soar - but owners' profit margin is just 0.3 per cent

Peter McGahan remembers his Tayto crisps costing 2p - but then inflation took over
Peter McGahan remembers his Tayto crisps costing 2p - but then inflation took over

ONLINE sales of tens of thousands of extra bags of its famous Tayto cheese & onion brand haven't translated into a major revenues boost for its owner Manderley Food Group, according to its latest accounts.

The UK's largest producer of snack foods did swing back into a modest profit in the year to last June from a narrow loss in the previous 12 months.

But over the year, revenues barely moved, coming in at £207.2 million against £207.8 million in 2019.

And its bottom-line profit of £59,439 (against a previous-year loss of £115,515) was just a paltry 0.3 per cent of sales.

Directors of the company, which has been wholly-owned by the Hutchinson family since its creation in 1956, said the crisps and snacks market continues to be challenging, with significant competition in the retail sector and continued pressure on consumers.

They also said the Covid pandemic has led to changing demand from consumers.

At Christmas Tayto said its online sales had rocketed by 140 per cent during 2020 and it delivered crisps to 37 countries.

Those online sales were dominated by orders from England, Scotland and Wales, but Tayto said its crisps were also sent as far as as Nepal, South Korea, Vietnam, Qatar and Bermuda in 2020.

Manderley, whose head office is at Corby in Northamptonshire, has grown through a number of key acquisitions over recent years, though none are listed in its currently trading year.

The company said there had been limited impact on labour supply and raw materials prices/supply but the directors said a crisis management team had been appointed, with plans put in place to ensure a continued supply of raw materials for the manufacturing process.

The figures reveal that Manderley had 1,504 staff at year-end, down from 1,525 previously, and its overall pay bill went up from £41.6m to £43.4m.

That included payments of £1,511,379 million to the company's directors, with the highest-paid of these pocketing £653,682.

The directors at the helm for the whole year were Raymond Hutchinson, Stephen Hutchinson and Anne Hutchinson Kane, while Fergal McCann was appointed last June.

The balance sheet showed that at year-end Manderely had assets of £70.3 million.

As well as Tayto, the portfolio of other brands owned by the company include Golden Wonder, Real Crisps, Mr Porky, Ringos and hot drinks vendor Drinkmaster.