R&W Scott owner toasts 24% jump in profits

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The owner of R&W Scott has hailed a turnaround at the venerable Scottish jam maker as it reported a 24 per cent surge in annual profits.

Aim-quoted Real Good Food (RGF) said Carluke-based R&W Scott delivered an operating profit of £166,000 for the year to the end of March, compared with a £1.4 million loss a year earlier, despite a dip in sales.

Executive chairman Pieter Totté said the brand is now operating as a standalone business, having previously been part of its Renshaw baking ingredients division, and had benefited from improved efficiencies and a switch to premium products.

He added: “While the outlook for the economy and consumers’ disposable income is likely only to improve gradually, I am confident that we have a strong platform for long-term, sustainable growth, based on sound plans.”

The group, which also owns sugar distributor Napier Brown and dairy ingredients business Garrett, posted overall underlying pre-tax profits of £10.5m, up from £8.5m a year earlier.

Revenues grew 2.8 per cent to £265.8m and the group trimmed its net debt to £25m, down from £28.7m a year earlier. Totté said the firm is expanding the sales teams across all its divisions and has opened a Brussels office in a bid to grow its exports.

Phil Carroll, an analyst at house broker Shore Capital, said: “Whilst the third quarter was a challenging period in the run-up to Christmas as food industry retail volumes were subdued, the group has reported a significant improvement in profitability. This provides us with confidence that the group can deliver a further year of growth.”