Biscuit-maker Burton’s is back in the black after a sweeter year

Wagon Wheels are among the brands owned by Burton's
Wagon Wheels are among the brands owned by Burton's
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THE maker of biscuits including Jammie Dodgers, Maryland cookies and Wagon Wheels has reported a boost to sales despite the rising challenge from supermarket own-brand rivals.

Burton’s, which began producing biscuits in 1935, saw sales increase 6 per cent in 2011 to £342 million. The St Albans-based company also turned a 2010 loss into a profit of £5.2m in 2011, although this was due in part to a £16m tax credit.

The company manufactures at three main sites in Edinburgh, Blackpool and Llantarnam, Gwent. It also has a chocolate refinery in Moreton, on the Wirral, a central distribution hub in Liverpool and a subsidiary office in Blackpool. It employs just over 2,100 staff.

The group said it expected the £2.1 billion-a-year British biscuit market to remain broadly stable in the long term.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it was relaunching the Lyons’ Biscuits range, which included teatime favourites such Jaffa Cakes and Viscount biscuits.

Last year Burton’s made the decision to cease manufacturing at the Moreton site due to over-capacity in the industry. It also decided to streamline its distribution process to just one site, moves that helped to push exceptional costs up to £19m.

• KP Snacks – whose brands include Hula Hoops, KP Nuts and Skips crisps – could be sold to a Russian-British private equity firm in a £450 million auction, it was reported yesterday.

Pamplona Capital Management has emerged as one of the favourites to win the UK’s second-largest branded snack company, which employs 1,500 staff.