Sales soar at Fullers Foods but margins feel the chill

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FULLERS FOODS International said sales rose by more than seven per cent to £240.5m last year but saw margins suffer in a difficult trading environment.

The Leeds-based frozen food wholesaler is one of Yorkshire’s largest family-owned businesses and can trace its history back to a 19th century market stall in the city.

Today, Fullers supplies most of the biggest names in the UK grocery sector including Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose and Booths. It also counts Harrods among its customers.

The business sources food from hundreds of suppliers around the world.

“The company has continued to build on the results achieved over the last four years with turnover increasing by 7.4 per cent, but the gross margin has once again come under pressure and has decreased from 8.77 per cent to 8.32 per cent,” said director Adam Fuller in the annual report.

“Given its involvement in the world’s food markets, the company is influenced by the buoyancy of the world economy and in particular how that affects food producers and food processors.

“As last year, the current year continues to be a difficult trading environment but the company considers that it is well placed to meet the challenges that will arise.”

Fullers Foods reported a pre-tax profit of £1.39m in the year ending January 31 2014, up from £1.23m the previous year.

The highest paid director received aggregate remuneration of £1.93m, down from £2m in 2013.

The company is controlled by the Fuller family trust.

Harry Fuller started his family business in 1876, selling fruit and vegetables from a barrow at Leeds Market.