Bettys brews up ‘excellent’ results for family business

Bettys in Harrogate
Bettys in Harrogate
Have your say

BETTYS & Taylors hailed the resilience of the family-owned business model as the Yorkshire institution brewed up an “excellent” set of results for the lastest financial year.

The Harrogate-based company said turnover rose by 12 per cent £149.1m in the year ending October 2013. Pre-tax profits rose one per cent to £10.1m.

Paul Cogan, group finance and resources director, said: “Family businesses such as Bettys & Taylors are built on deeply-held values, authenticity and great integrity.

“Our continued success reflects that our customers understand, appreciate and share the importance of these values.

“We’re very proud that, whatever the economic conditions, customers continue to value the quality of a visit to Bettys or proper cup of Yorkshire Tea.”

The group said the record sales performance follows a year of strong growth across the two businesses.

These comprise family tea and coffee merchant Taylors of Harrogate, six Bettys Café Tea Rooms, Bettys Online Shop, Craft Bakery and Bettys Cookery School.

The group said it prides itself on its dedication to craft skills and quality, ethical trading relationships and its commitment to being environmentally responsible.

Over the last year, the group contributed £360,000 to charitable and community projects in Yorkshire and in tea and coffee-growing countries.

Bettys & Taylors said it continues to share its success with staff by operating a quarterly bonus scheme.

This has been running for more than 30 years and recognises the contribution of staff across the business, with employees awarded the equivalent of an additional five-and-a-half weeks pay through the scheme. The group employs more than 1,400 people.

Brands include Yorkshire Tea, which received a boost last year through the sponsorship of the England cricket team.

The group is owned by Jonathan and Lesley Wild and their family. Mr Wild is the great nephew of Frederick Belmont, the Swiss confectioner who founded Bettys in 1919. He retired as chief executive in 2011 after more than 35 years with the family-owned business.

When he first joined the company in 1975, it employed 350 staff and had an annual turnover of £1.6m.

By the time he retired, staff numbers had risen more than threefold, sales had broken through the £100m barrier and the group was producing the third largest tea brand in the UK, the best-selling roast and ground coffee brand in the UK and exporting to more than 30 countries worldwide.

Lesley Wild succeeded her husband as chairman of the board in 2009.

Doing business the family way

Bettys & Taylors has no chief executive.

Instead, the family-owned business has a group executive leadership team, responsible for organisational strategy and development and operations.

These include finance director Paul Cogan, Bettys managing director Linda Close, Taylors managing director Andy Brown, communications director Rachel Fellows and director of change and performance Mary Godfrey.Lesley Wild chairs the board.

The group hired a chief executive in 2011 but Andrew Baker, the first non-family member to take the helm of the business.

But he left after just four months, with the company saying that the “longer-term ambitions and cultural direction for the group called for a different approach”.