GA Pet Food Partners has increased its turnover from £113m to £122m (+8%), but operating profit has dropped from £633,000 to £393,000, down by £240,000 (38%).
In its annual report from January 28, 2018, to January 26, 2019, the company said this drop is due to ‘an increase in employee base in the period and an increase in the cost of manufacturing the product for sale’.
Raw material prices have increased considerably, said GA, with venison, lamb and salmon seeing double-digit percentage increases, driven partly by demand from the US for venison.
DIRECT TO CONSUMER
The rise in turnover is the result of increasing demand from its existing customer base and new customers in the UK, Europe, Russia and the Far East.
Growth is also attributed to new product development and ‘new sales using specialist recipes across different markets’.
The report pointed to the growing direct-to-consumer trend, and said the company’s investment in software, storage and despatch of these ‘direct to door’ boxes ‘continues to offer growth for the company and its partners’.
It said: “This area will become increasingly significant within the marketplace and offers great scope for the company’s partners to offer multi-channel solutions especially for the tech-savvy, time-pressured, convenience-driven purchaser. The consumer of goods using this service has tended to be the pet owner who is looking for the highest quality at the best value. The company sees this trend continuing.”
Exports of its super premium products are a key market for GA and is a ‘significant contributor to overall operating profit’, with Asia Pacific, Japan and Russia being particularly successful. Asia Pacific is expanding at 38% and represents 90% of GA’s non- European Economic Community trade.
GA is continuing its investments into Poland, Germany, France and Italy, and has formed a new wholly-owned subsidiary in Spain. It said: “Our knowledge of export markets has been used to match-make existing UK and EU partners with distributors and agents around the world.”
The report said that innovation continues to drive the business forward, with ever-increasing levels of fresh meat in pet food.
Its 10-year strategic plan, which began in 2018, has already seen the construction of an ingredients kitchen, pantry and larder, with a new fresh meat and fresh ingredients kitchen and packing hall this year. The plan also includes a new dry and fresh ingredients kitchen and research and development centre. Construction is now largely complete on phase one and commissioning is underway, with production expected to start in the first quarter of 2020.