Walker’s Shortbread turnover up 16% to £164m

Walker’s Shortbread MD Nicky Walker

Walker’s Shortbread announced that its annual turnover rose 16% to £164.6 million in the year ended December 31, 2022.

The Aberlour-based business revealed growth fuelled specifically in US and UK markets.

UK sales increased 23% to £77 million and export revenues rose by almost 10% to £87.6 million.

“Growth was underpinned by Walker’s successful rebrand, which launched in 2021 and continued through 2022, with strong performance in global travel retail coinciding with a return to air travel for many passengers,” said Walkers.

“However, ongoing pressures on global supply chains — intensified by the conflict in Ukraine — and a challenging inflationary environment impacted the business, as costs of raw materials rose, and service levels were squeezed.

“As a result, profits dipped from £6.2m to £6m compared to the previous trading year.

“The business sought to mitigate these challenges by introducing new production efficiencies and procurement strategies, both which contributed gains in the year, however, it was insufficient to mitigate the cost pressures in full meaning profits remained static at £6m.”

Walker’s Shortbread MD Nicky Walker said: “It was pleasing to see demand return in a substantial way through 2022 after a couple of challenging years during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The year presented numerous hurdles however, not least the continuing restrictions in the local labour market, but also substantial price increases coming from our suppliers. This volatility forced a review of all our incoming costs, with proactive conversations held with our entire supply chain …

“The Walker’s brand relaunch was exceptionally well received last year, and we are excited at the prospect of the continued roll out through the remainder of this year and into next as we look forward to support the business’ aspiration for sustainable growth.”