MEADOW FOODS

Chester-based Meadow Foods have reported turnover down 6% to £429m for the year to March 2020, making them the 6th biggest dairy company operating in the UK on the basis of annual turnover, just behind Saputo UK. Now owned by equity finance groups, the lead one apparently being UK group Exponent, their figures are increasingly complicated. The company that started life and continue as Meadow Foods Ltd—with a mix of dairy ingredients produced at plants at Chester, Cheshire, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorks, and Peterborough, Cambs—supplied with milk by 500 farmers across the country, have reported sales down 6% to £429.1m, operating profits down 5% at £24.3m, operating margin up from 5.6% to 5.7% and pre-tax profits down 7% at £23.9m. Shareholders funds were up from £67m to £87.1m. Staff numbers were up from 310 to 360. Corporation tax liability was down 8% at £3.3m. No dividends were paid. Meadow’s parent company is Swan Topco who bought confectionary ingredients company Nimbus in October 2019; Nimbus who operate a plant at Dolgellau in north Wales, report sales down 3% at £12.6m and pre-tax profits halved at £1.7m. One assumes that Swan Topco largely duplicate Meadow’s numbers (above), with sales mysteriously up 32% at £434.3m and operating profits down 16% at £5.2m. They claim to have paid Corp. Tax of £4.4m, more than doubled.