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Pukka Pies to invest £5.1m to increase production capacity
Pukka Pies is to significantly step-up investment for a third consecutive year with a commitment of £5.1m in 2022. The additional investment will be used to expand its manufacturing capacity and capability at its Syston bakery, as the firm gears up for future growth over the next 3 years and beyond. It follows a £4.5m investment made at the Leicestershire facility in 2021.
The investment – announced as the company revealed annual figures to May 2021 showing turnover rising by +9.4% to £58.1m and operating profit at £5.9m – reflects another successful year, enabling the bakery to continue to reinvest back into the business.
Pukka’s chief executive officer, Deborah Ewan, said: “Despite another year of the impact of Covid-19 on our out of home division, the year to May 2021 saw us surpass some of our most exciting milestones yet. Alongside making and baking over 76 million pies for the people of Britain, our vegan pie recipes became star performers and scooped two Grocer New Product Awards. Meanwhile, installing state-of-the-art cooking vessels allowed us to keep pace with increased output from the bakery and double our capacity.
“But our investment in the bakery doesn’t stop at installing new vessels. The last year has seen retail sales continue to rise and the recovery in our fish and chip shop heartland was quicker and stronger than anticipated. This means we can continue to invest in growing our business and our team, with our Pukka colleagues, led by Isaac Fisher in his new role of managing director, continuing to be at the heart of our success and future vision.”
Alongside continued investment in the business to further enhance the team and the bakery’s manufacturing capacity and capability, the Leicestershire pie maker remains at the forefront of marketing and innovation. Ewan added: “We recently made a major move in the savoury pastry category with the launch of a range of Pukka sausage rolls, slices and a pasty, supported with our biggest ever marketing campaign. In just 2 months, three of our recipes became top performers in the category.”
Pukka also continues to focus on the local community and sustainability across the bakery, sending zero waste to landfill and all edible pies are packed and distributed to local and national charities.
Ewan concluded: “Giving back to the community is part of what makes Pukka, Pukka. Last year, the business donated over 228,000 pies to charities across the UK which is a 151%+ increase on the previous year.
“Looking back, Pukka has been on a phenomenal journey in the last few years, but it hasn’t been plain sailing. The out of home market was hit hard by Covid-19, and we continue to work closely with our partners in this sector to support their businesses. It’s our number one priority to keep feeding the nation and we will continue to invest in our people, bakery, brand and environment, so we can put Pukka in more hands, on more plates, on more occasions.”