Chloe Shakesby

Northumberland drinks company tops up profits by more than 2,000% despite sales drop

A Northumberland drinks manufacturer has announced that its profits hit £260k last year after receiving funding from government support schemes.

Fentimans, based in Hexham, reported operating profits of £260.5k for the year to the end of December, an increase of more than 2,000 per cent from 2019’s £8.95k.

This comes after a “challenging” year caused by the pandemic, which saw Fentimans’ profits drop from £41.4m to £36.8m and sales drop by 11 per cent to £36.8m.

The company’s use of the government’s furlough scheme meant that it was able to claim back £190.25k of staff wages, with an additional £33k of other operating income.

Fentimans commented: “Despite the backdrop of the global pandemic, the board of Fentimans Ltd are delighted to post a £260k operating profit for the year ended 31 December 2020.

“It was an unprecedented year of uncertainty driven by Brexit and the closure of the On Trade in the UK for most of the year, coupled with trading restrictions across most of our international customers, making 2020 a challenging year to navigate.

“That said, the business adapted to these changes swiftly, preserved cash and took trading opportunities as they arose.

“Gross sales for 2020 were £36.8m (a reduction of 11 per cent on 2019). Despite this decline, the business delivered a profit of £260,000 through the decisive actions taken by management and the careful control of costs throughout the pandemic.

“The business is on track to achieve its targets across the first quarter of 2021 despite the ongoing restrictions and we remain optimistic that we will deliver further growth as the pandemic restrictions lift around the world.

“This encouraging result reflects the extraordinary efforts of all our team members during 2020. We are proud and grateful for their efforts and optimistic that it will reap benefits in the years to come.”

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