Preliminary Full Year Results for the 53 weeks ending 3 April 2021

Proposed final dividend of 1.0 pence per share; reinstated for first time in thirteen years
May 19, 2021


  • Branded revenue up +13.6% in full year and ahead +7.0% in Q4
  • Trading profit increased +11.9% to £148.3m after increased marketing investment and incremental Covid costs
  • Net debt/EBITDA, (pre-IFRS 16) reduced to 1.9x, the Group’s lowest ever leverage
  • Repaid £190m Floating rate notes in FY20/21 reducing interest costs by c.£10m p.a.; plus ratings agency upgrades
  • Combined pensions surplus of £539.9m
  • New RCF facility to 2024 and launching offer of new £300m 5 year Senior Secured Fixed Rate Notes
  • Proposed final dividend of 1.0 pence per share; reinstated for first time in thirteen years

Alex Whitehouse, Chief Executive Officer

“This has been an outstanding year for the business with very strong financial metrics across the board. We have reduced our leverage to 1.9x EBITDA3, repaid £190m of our Floating Rate Bonds saving approximately £10m in interest costs and entered into a transformational new pensions agreement. As a result, we are pleased to be reinstating dividend payments for the first time in 13 years. We have also just completed the refinancing of a new Revolving Credit facility with a refreshed bank group, extending maturity to at least 2024, and are today announcing the launch of a new Fixed Rate Bond.”

“Throughout the year, we continued to drive our branded growth model, launching a series of new product ranges, including many healthy options such as Sharwood’s low sugar stir fry sauces and increasing marketing investment with six of our major brands benefitting from TV advertising. This, along with a robust performance from our supply chain, ensured we delivered growth ahead of the market. Sales of our brands online more than doubled and our continued focus on this channel led to further market share gains. In overseas markets we are now clearly seeing the benefits of last year’s change in strategy with double digit growth in each quarter and 23% in the full year.”

“We enter this year in a strong position, with the benefit of an expanded consumer base, further TV advertising for our brands and a substantial pipeline of new products planned. We are confident in our Trading profit expectations for the full year and we expect adjusted PBT to benefit from lower financing costs. As we look to the future, with a transformed business in a demonstrably much stronger financial position, we will continue to move forward at pace and with rigour, applying our brand building skills to expand the business. We will do this through entering new categories in the UK, scaling up our overseas businesses and exploring the opportunity for appropriate bolt on acquisitions.”

“Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank our colleagues who have shown incredible resilience and commitment, keeping our operations running, ensuring we were able to keep food supplies flowing to our customers and taking all the necessary actions to keep each other safe.”

Read and download the full RNS of our Preliminary results