Baker Patis­serie Va­lerie’s prof­its climb to £11.1m

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - BY HE­LEN CAHILL

THE owner of Patis­serie Va­lerie, which is about to open its third out­let in North­ern Ire­land, is eye­ing ac­qui­si­tion tar­gets af­ter de­liv­er­ing dou­ble-digit profit and sales growth, de­spite a hit from the Beast from the East.

Patis­serie Hold­ings, the com­pany be­hind the chain, said it was af­fected by bad weather dur­ing the first half of the year, but that its con­trol over its sup­ply chain meant it could limit the im­pact on profit.

It al­ready has two shops in Belfast city cen­tre and is about to open a third, in the city’s Forest­side Shop­ping Cen­tre.

Pre-tax profit grew by 14.2% in the six months end­ing March 31, up from £9.7m to £11.1m. Rev­enue, mean­while, climbed 9.1% to £60.5m.

The firm hiked its in­terim div­i­dend by 20% to 1.44p per share.

Luke John­son, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Patis­serie Hold­ings, said: “The group has de­liv­ered a strong set of re­sults in a sec­tor which has well-doc­u­mented chal­lenges.

“We re­main fo­cused on or­ganic growth, and with a strong bal­ance sheet con­tinue to as­sess ac­qui­si­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties which will have a strate­gic and cul­tural fit.”

The firm was stung by a rise in labour costs as­so­ci­ated with the national min­i­mum wage, the national liv­ing wage and the ap­pren­tice­ship levy.

Over the pe­riod, this re­sulted in an ad­di­tional £300,000 cost to the busi­ness.

Re­views on rents and busi­ness rates across the re­tailer’s port­fo­lio added £200,000 to its costs.

Patis­serie Va­lerie opened 10 stores dur­ing the pe­riod, and now trades from 206 stores.

Web­site sales were up 62.5% from £1.6m to £2.6m af­ter the com­pany re­launched its web­site in Fe­bru­ary and be­came more ac­tive on so­cial me­dia.

The chain also launched a num­ber of ini­tia­tives to drive sales, such as new menus, a ‘slice of the month’ and in-store bake­offs.

The board is aim­ing to open 20 new stores over the year, with out­lets in Lancaster, Bat­tersea and Belfast Forest­side set to open by the end of this month.

Patis­serie Va­lerie also has a part­ner­ship with Sains­bury’s.

It sup­plies Patis­serie Va­lerie-branded coun­ters in the su­per­mar­ket and cur­rently op­er­ates from 31 stores and 14 click-and-col­lect sites, in­clud­ing Sains­bury’s in Forest­side Shop­ping Cen­tre.

The bak­ery brand will soon en­ter a fur­ther 10 Sains­bury’s.

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