Macphie: ‘Middle East market offers further growth opportunities in bakery sector’

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Macphie sees increase in turnover. Picture: Macphie.
Macphie sees increase in turnover. Picture: Macphie.

Related tags Middle east Milk

Macphie, a food ingredient manufacturer based in the UK has spoken out about opportunities in the Middle East after posting a 13.2% increase in sales.

Announcing its financial results for the year to March 2017, the company reported £53.9m turnover compared to £47.6m in 2016.

More consumer-focused


It said however, its gross profit declined marginally to 28.4% (from 28.9% in 2016), due to cost inflation in raw material pricing in the final quarter and some changes in the company’s product mix.

Operating profit in the year rose to £5.9m, from £4.6m the previous year.

Andy Underwood, MD, Macphie, said sales growth was realised across most channels in the UK, with Out of Home continuing as its key growth area.

The traditional bakery market has remained challenging, and ongoing consolidation in the wholesale supply chain is adding further pressure​,” he added.

Consequently, we have reviewed and realigned our customer approach to provide more consumer-focused understanding and commercial solutions, which we see as vital to our continued success​.

Internationally, the Middle East market offers further growth opportunities as leading food service operators in the region expand.​”

Looking forward, Underwood said food inflation is a well-publicised reality and the recent volatility of the dairy market is providing both availability and pricing challenges.

We closely monitor future market movements and enjoy long-term relationships with our key suppliers, operating a range of mechanics to ensure the best quality for value price​,” he added.

Economic outlook

Given the international nature of our business, currency exchange rates can have both a positive and negative impact.

However we feel these risks are well managed and the business is in a good position to mitigate any eventualities​.”

Last year, Macphie demerged its associated farm business from its main food business, as it was recognised as a non-core activity for Macphie Ltd.

With the current political landscape giving the UK an uncertain economic outlook, as a business we will continue to monitor developments and act to minimise any adverse impact​," said chairman Alastair Macphie.

The company launched new packaging across its UHT product range in November last year featuring clear symbols on individual packs for for gluten free, vegetarian, lactose free and halal alternatives.

Richard Cox, commercial director, Macphie, said at the time, the rise in the number of people choosing ‘meat-free’ days, or cutting gluten and lactose from their diets had led to demand for more options on menus.

Individual choice


With this growing trend of individual choice, we want our customers to identify key product claims easily, allowing them to explore new opportunities across our branded range​,” he said.

In the main, it is a packaging update and we have maintained the taste and quality of our product but we have taken this opportunity to reformulate our Red Wine Sauce so it is now suitable for vegetarians and vegans​.”

All except one of the UHT products are suitable for vegetarians, and seven are halal-certified.

The full range of 21 UHT products provides savoury and sweet sauces, glaze, heat-chill-serve desserts and dairy cream alternatives in a one-litre format.

Macphie employs more than 300 workers across three sites; its HQ in Glenbervie, Aberdeenshire; its facility in Tannochside, North Lanarkshire; and its recently opened Midlands Centre of Excellence outside Coventry. 

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