Mackays Boss Lifts the Lid on ‘Uncertainty’Neil Hardie
The boss of Angus jam manufacturers Mackays said the company has faced an “extraordinary period of uncertainty”.
Martin Grant, managing director of the Arbroath-based jam and preserve company, said rising bills and material costs were a “significant” challenge for the business.
However, he said the James Chalmers Road firm was well placed to meet any sticky situations.
Mr Grant said: “We’ve met those challenges head-on despite the complexities of them and we’re making progress.
“But there’s no question about it – it’s a challenge, and on the back of two challenging years with Covid and lockdowns.”
Mr Grant remains confident the Angus firm’s brands, which also include Mrs Bridges, are in a strong enough position to see the company through.
“The popularity of the brand and the company continues to be strong,” he said.
“That is our guiding strength – people continue to love what we do and are very supportive.
“We’ve also got a fantastic team of people here who work so diligently. If we can keep these things going, I’ve every expectation we’ll have a good year.”
Mr Grant also believes their experiences of dealing with uncertainty during the pandemic will make forthcoming challenges easier to navigate.
“I think we did such a good job during 2020 and 2021 because there’s an entrepreneurial spirit that runs through the business. It allows us to be flexible.
“I’ve no doubt the challenges will continue into 2023.
“It’s not comfortable but I think the people we deal with are flexible and that allows us to get through.”
He said prices for Mackays’ products have gone up in shops, but added the business has absorbed cost increases where possible.
“Consumers will start to see this year and next year increased prices on shelves. I still believe we represent good value for what we do and what we sell,” he said.
“Hopefully people still believe in that value.”
Meanwhile, newly-published accounts for the Angus manufacturer show turnover increased slightly in the year to December 2021. Sales rose to £17m from £16.9m the previous year, with UK sales accounting for the majority of that figure (£11.5m).
It enjoyed “exponential” growth during the Covid pandemic, Mr Grant has said previously. Mackays recorded a pre-tax loss of just over £250,000 for the reporting period. That is compared to a profit of almost £100,000 in 2020.
However, Mr Grant attributed that to “tidying up exceptional costs”.
“The liquidity of the business is the most important factor we’ve been focused on,” he added.
“That’s not to say profits aren’t important, but we’re very happy with the trading performance.”