Fife-based Carr’s Flour Mills is targeting making more than £100 million in sales in the coming year.
That is thanks to a spike in the demand for flour, with people taking up home baking and cooking as they work from home,
A rise in home working has allowed people to get back into their kitchens.
Kirkcaldy-based Carr’s Flour Mills has benefited, much to the delight of managing director Rob Munro.
The firm increased its production to cope with an “extraordinary” spike in demand triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic last March.
Mr Munro said: “British people have fallen back in love with baking and cooking from scratch.
“There are more people at home for longer. People stopped shopping in retail and went back to the traditional bakery.”
How Brexit helped cope with Covid-19
Mr Munro said the firm’s preparations for Brexit, when uncertainty meant they began stockpiling, helped them through the initial rise in demand for flour.
He said: “We were carrying quite high inventory in everything in anticipation of the Brexit fall-out, which we withstood.
“It was because of that we were able to deal with the flurry in demand as people went to the shops to buy their baking products.
“That was quite an exceptional period.”
Family ethos at Carr’s Flour Mills
He paid tribute to the staff for their efforts, adding: “If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have been able to rise to the challenges.
“We’ve come through well and I believe we’ve looked after our staff.
“We have a family ethos and we tend to look after staff like they are family.”
And the Carr’s family has grown over the past 12 months, with the firm adding almost 20 new members of staff.
The company, which also has mills in Cumbria and Essex has a headcount of 192, an increase of about 20 from last year.
Mr Munro said that was due to succession planning,
He said: “We have taken on more staff, primarily around succession issues.
“We’re a mature industry so we’re continuously recruiting across all three sites.
“We’re quite efficient and well invested so feet on the ground is not that big a driver.”
The firm’s turnover increased from £94.9m to £95.5m for the year ending March 2021.
Carr’s managing director Rob Munro praised a “solid performance”.
He said: “Our turnover was up but volume slightly lower.
“The great strength of our business is the diversity of sales – we’re in pretty much every flour sector.
“The breadth of our sales has contributed to the slight improvement in our financials.”
Pre-tax profits also rose from £2.2m, to £2.3m across the period.
Carr’s Flour Mills plans for the year ahead
And for the year ahead, Mr Munro wants to see “steady, sustainable growth” across the firm.
He added: “We are investing in the port with Forth Ports so we can bring in bigger ships.
“It’s not going to be 10 or 15% growth but it might be 3 or 4% – that kind of steady, sustainable growth.
“We’ve been around since 1563 – we tend to do things steady.
“We want to make a sustainable profit that will sustain the business for the future.
“I would like us to have steady return that allows us to develop and grow in a modest way.”