Supermarket supplier Bakkavor sees 2020 revenues hit by China slump

Naomi Ackerman
·1-min read
<p>The firm supplies salads and sandwiches around the world (Bakkavor)</p>

The firm supplies salads and sandwiches around the world (Bakkavor)

Supermarket supplier Bakkavor today reported 2020 revenues down 4.9% on 2019 after food-to-go sale volumes were hit by commuters working from home.

The firm - which makes salads and ready meals for M&S and Tesco - reported a UK like-for-like sales slump of 5.3% in the year to December 26, while a huge fall in China sales during the pandemic saw revenues there hit by 21.6%.

But Bakkavor said a “steady improvement” in China sales in the second half means the firm is now confident of recovery.

Bosses said that forward planning has "minimised disruption" and that its supply chain "continues to operate effectively" post-Brexit, despite new red tape.

The firm warned that it is still "early days", however.

After cutting costs and suspending its dividend, Bakkavor said it has "significant" headroom of £200 million and boss Agust Gudmundsson said the company had "delivered a strong and resilient performance" in unprecedented times.

He said: ”Notwithstanding the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we have a sound business model and solid platform that leaves us well placed to navigate the current environment and achieve long-term sustainable growth."

The company has faced criticism after it saw Covid outbreaks at some of its British factories over the past year.

Bakkavor also hit the headlines in April last year when its head of operations was filmed telling employees in north London that they faced losing their jobs if they missed work during the pandemic.

At the time, a Bakkavor spokesman apologised to staff for "any miscommunication" and said: "We are investigating the matter."

Shares were up 9.5% in early trading

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