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Jam-maker’s pledge to support Angus economy

Martin Grant, managing director of Mackays.
Martin Grant, managing director of Mackays.

Jam and preserves manufacturer Mackays has vowed to continue to make a significant contribution to the Angus economy.

The Arbroath firm reported pre-tax profit up 3.5% at £865,915 in 2015 from a turnover up 2.76% at just under £17.44 million.

The company, which is based at Kirkton Industrial estate in Arbroath, is one of the UK’s major jam, marmalade, preserve, chutney and relish producers.

It trades with the Mrs Bridges and Mackays brands and exports to around 80 countries.

The firm, which produces the world famous Dundee Orange marmalade and is a former winner of the business of the year prize at The Courier’s Business Awards, was originally founded by the Mackay brothers in 1938.
It has been in the hands of the Grant family since chairman Paul Grant bought the business in 1995.
Mr Grant said the company had made continued progress with turnover up again and UK sales 4% higher at 74% of the turnover total.
Growth in international sales, representing 26% of the turnover, slowed due to major customers consolidating stock levels, changing distribution systems and currency movements.
Early indications in 2016 show growth returning to these markets, however.
Mr Grant said Mackays’ brands lie at the heart of the business and profitability, and the board places great emphasis on continuing development in home and international markets.
The Mrs Bridges brand is continuing to hold a market-leading position in retail channels.
Raw material costs are stable and under constant review, and future pricing arrangements with key suppliers will continue for the foreseeable future indicating stability will remain throughout 2016.
Capital investment in the business had continued in 2015, with more than £360,000 spent on bringing more efficiency to the manufacturing process, updating IT systems and replacing vehicles.
Mr Grant said staff numbers, which on December 31 stood at 176, remained steady compared with 2014 when they were 140.
He stated: “The company makes a significant contribution to the Angus economy and intends to maintain this in the future.”
The Mackays board believes the operating margin can be maintained in 2016, given the raw material position.
International markets are challenging and the company was in dialogue with its bankers to mitigate the effects of currency transactions.
Mr Grant concluded: “Ultimately the board believes that the enduring nature of customer relationships and the absolute quality of the products manufactured, coupled with a long-term programme of capital investment, leaves the company well placed to meet the challenges of the current economic environment.”

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