Pre-tax profit at Kildare-based Birds Eye Pizza down by 7.5%

Challenges include Brexit, euro-sterling exchange and aggressive competitive activity

Company note changes in demand for branded frozen pizzas.

Company note changes in demand for branded frozen pizzas.

 

Pre-tax profits at the Co Kildare-based Birds Eye Pizza Ltd last year declined by 7.5 per cent to €21.6 million.

New accounts filed show that the frozen pizza firm recorded the decline in pre-tax profits as revenues increased by 25 per cent from €206.6 million to €270.9 million in the 74 weeks to the end of December last year.

The prior period was for a 52-week period and according to the directors, the main challenges facing the business relate to Brexit, the euro-sterling exchange rate impact on exports to the UK, the general adverse economic environment, aggressive competitive activity and commodity inflation.

Last year, Birds Eye owner, Nomad Foods grabbed itself a much larger slice of the pizza market in the UK and here with the €225 million purchase of Good Fellas pizza.

The directors for Birds Eye Pizza state that they consider the transition of the company to a pizza-only business and its financial position at the end of the year to be satisfactory.

“This is in light of Brexit and the changes in the UK and the Irish grocery market, particularly branded frozen food,” they said. “The outlook for 2019 will remain challenging, however a new strategic focus on the core portfolio will enable the company to remain relevant and competitive in the market.”

During the year, the firm paid out dividends of €159 million and contributed to reducing shareholder funds from €165 million to €24.4 million. The company’s cash increased from €2.2 million to €25.9 million.

Numbers employed by the business declined from 685 to 546. The firm’s staff costs increased from €28.3 million to €28.9 million. Directors’ remuneration last year increased from €753,000 to €1.37 million.

The profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €6.6 million.