R&R becomes world’s largest private label ice cream maker as sales rise 23 per cent

Ibrahim Najafi, chief executive of R&R Ice Cream
Ibrahim Najafi, chief executive of R&R Ice Cream
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R&R ICE Cream said sales rose 23 per cent to 837m euros last year after scooping up businesses in Australia and Lancashire.

The Yorkshire company is now the largest private label ice cream manufacturer in the world.

It has market-leading shares in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Australia, following its 310m euro acquisition of the Peters Food Group a year ago.

R&R, led by chief executive Ibrahim Najafi, reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, debt and amortisation of 140m euros, up 51 per cent on 2013.

The group acquired Fredericks, based in Skelmersdale, for 57m euros in 2013.

R&R also refinanced 350m euros worth of debt with a 315m euro bond to substantially reduce interest costs, saving the business 8m euros a year.

“Our scale, focus on large, stable take-home markets and highly efficient manufacturing operations provide us with key advantages over our competitors and have allowed us to continue to generate stable earnings and significant free cash flow through various economic cycles,” said the annual report, published on Wednesday.

The group is owned by PAI Partners, the French private equity giant.

It has licenses to produce brands for Nestle, Mondelez, Cadbury and Disney.

R&R was founded in 1985 when Yorkshire businessmen James Lambert and Jonathan Ropner acquired an old Victorian dairy.

Mr Lambert stepped down as chairman last year but remains a significant shareholder.