Somerdale International reports solid growth

Somerdale International Limited (Somerdale), the leading exporter of high quality British cheeses and dairy products, has published its report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020. The results demonstrate that during the year Somerdale sales continued to grow strongly. This reflected the ongoing development of Somerdale’s customer base in core markets such as the US and also in new emerging markets such as China. While the business continued to benefit from its ongoing investment in its UK operational facilities, new product development, and in-market sales and marketing teams.

While in the current financial year, the business is continuing to perform well at a financial, commercial and operational level despite the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19, Brexit and ongoing US super tariffs. This, according to the company, reflects the underlying strength and agility of the business which has allowed it to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions, working closely with its key customers, suppliers and distribution partners. While it has also been able to leverage its broad, differentiated product portfolio; diverse customer base and presence in a wide range of sectors and geographic markets.

Highlights for the year included:

  • Turnover increased by £3.5 million (+9%) to £41.9 million (2019: £38.4 million).
    – c. 99% of turnover was generated through export activity.
    – Sales have grown by 41% over the last two years.
  • Somerdale’s US sales reached the $25 million (£19 million) mark for the year to the end of March 2020, up some 17% year on year. This record sales figure was boosted by growth in the retail sector reflecting Somerdale’s continued focus on innovation and continued growth in its core product range.
  • Somerdale’s sales now represent c. 20% of all UK cheese exports to the States with growth over the past three years exceeding 40%.
  • Profit before tax increased to £634,532 (2019: £192,155).
  • The financial strength of the business continues to improve. Total net assets have increased further to just under £1.4m and current assets have improved by £350k from the last year end.

In the current financial year, Somerdale is reportedly continuing to trade strongly. Half year sales were +6% higher year on year and will be reinforced by, what so far is, a strong US holiday season trading performance. This is despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing US tariffs and uncertainties relating to post Brexit trading arrangements and Somerdale believes demonstrates that the underlying financial and commercial fundamentals of the business are strong.

Commenting on the results, Trevor Debenham, finance director of Somerdale International said, “During the 2019/20 financial year the business performed in line with expectations. Turnover and profitability both grew, helped in no small part by record sales in the US – our largest and most important market. This was despite the unprecedented challenges linked to the imposition in October of the US super tariffs; uncertainties regarding Brexit and, towards the end of the year, the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“In the current financial year, when we are celebrating our 30th year as a business, it is pleasing to be able to report that our trading has been, and continues to be, very buoyant. This reflects, I believe, the fundamental strength and agility of the business; our ongoing focus on developing strong, long term and mutually beneficial relationships with customers, suppliers and distributors; and investing for the future in both our export capacity and capabilities and in the development of exciting and truly innovative products and brands that will meet the needs and desires of international consumers.”

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