Somerdale International publishes growth report

Somerdale International, an exporter of British cheese and dairy products, has published its report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2023. Trading conditions were both challenging and highly volatile for the majority of the year as rising inflation, linked in particular to the war in Ukraine, drove input costs higher. This in turn had a significant impact on consumer confidence and buying behaviour as higher costs fed through to selling prices and as a result this did lead to a slight weakening in demand for Somerdale’s products. This was particularly the case in relation to lower margin, price sensitive, commodity products. However, this was offset by robust demand for Somerdale’s growing range of premium speciality cheese, which performed particularly well in core markets such as the US and Australia.

Overall sales growth in value terms was strong at +22%. Turnover increased to £53.8 million (2022: £44.3 million), while profit before tax increased to £2.2 million (2022: £1.56 million). In July 2023, the entire share capital of the company was sold to A.J. and R.G. Barber.

During the year, the business continued to build for the future with investment in both its people, premises and production capabilities. This included: expansion in its chilled warehousing capacity at its headquarters in Wellington, Somerset; the taking on of two new trainee apprentices; and continued investment in packing and IT equipment.

Commenting on the results, Trevor Debenham, finance director of Somerdale International said, “During the 2022/23 financial year despite significant global economic headwinds the business performed in line with expectations. While at the same time, we continued to put in place the building blocks for our long-term growth and development through investing in our people, premises and production capabilities.

“We remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the export of high quality British dairy products and are encouraged by the progress we are making in relation to the development of emerging markets such as China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.”

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