VENERABLE Scottish coffee firm Matthew Algie managed to increase profits despite “difficult” conditions thanks to efficiency savings at its Glasgow plant.
The 148-year-old business saw a slight decline in turnover last year, down £100,000 to £33.1 million as its high street coffee shop customers were affected by last year’s UK-wide decrease in consumer spending.
Pre-tax profits edged up to £2.2m, compared to £1.9m in 2010, as the firm made “significant reductions in the cost base”.
Chairman Eric Hagman said: “We are delighted with the progress the company has made in difficult trading conditions, which included raw coffee prices hitting a 30-year high.
“Despite this, we decided to pass on only a small percentage of this price increase to our customers by careful management of our production and administration costs.”
The firm said Espresso Warehouse, the division launched in 1997 to supply “everything but the coffee” – tea, hot chocolate, food, retail ideas and barista equipment – continues to go “from strength to strength”, expanding its range of products and its customer base.
The group said it was debt free despite a £1.1m increase in its net pension liability. The Gorbals-based firm, which is one of the largest independent coffee roasters in the UK, supplies Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury, the Gleneagles Hotel and the Houses of Parliament.
The figures follow a buoyant year in 2010, when turnover grew by 10 per cent and profits added 12 per cent.
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