Losses cut at Aulds as baker looks to the fu­ture

The Herald - - BUSINESS - KEVIN SCOTT BUSI­NESS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

BAKER Aulds has nar­rowed losses and in­creased rev­enue in its most re­cent ac­counts.

And with ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion of its re­tail busi­ness now com­plete, chief ex­ec­u­tive Alan Marr be­lieves a brand re­fresh in the spring will mark a new chap­ter for Aulds’ shops.

Sales for the year to March 31 at the Greenock busi­ness grew one per cent to £15 mil­lion as pre-tax losses nar­rowed to £136,454 from £486,928 the pre­vi­ous year.

Not­ing the im­prove­ment in per­for­mance, Mr Marr said: “It takes a while, we made losses for a num­ber of years, but it’s go­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

Mr Marr, whose great grand­fa­ther founded the busi­ness in 1900, said the com­pany’s food­ser­vice divi­sion, De­li­cious Desserts – which is dis­trib­uted through whole­salers or di­rectly to larger res­tau­rant groups – had con­tin­ued to grow since the re­port­ing pe­riod ended and would be up “sig­nif­i­cantly” in the cur­rent year.

The com­pany is down to 27 re­tail out­lets, from a peak of 44 around five years ago. Mr Marr said shops in “the wrong” lo­ca­tions were closed, and that a de­ci­sion was still to be made on one more. “It is now a case of build­ing and go­ing for­ward,” said Mr Marr.

A deal to sup­ply Scot­mid stores with fresh bak­ery prod­ucts has grown to 51 stores, pro­vid­ing some bal­ance and help­ing to move the busi­ness away from what Mr Marr called “to­tal re­liance on the high street”.

How­ever, Mr Marr said that while the busi­ness was in bet­ter shape, and had seen staff num­bers grow to about 500 as pro­duc­tion work­ers more than off­set a re­duc­tion in re­tail staff, there would be chal­lenges around in­creased Satur­day, 14th Jan­uary, 2017

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