An operating and pre-tax profit of £661,759 in 2011 slid to a loss of £162,863 in 2012, on turnover up from £11.97 million to £12.25m, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
But employee numbers crept up from 100 to 102, and the community-based business actually increased its contributions to local charities last year from £18,490 to £22,757.
The accounts show net debt rising from £1.03m to £1.67m, with Barclays Bank taking out a floating charge as bank loans rose from nil to £322,716.
The directors, led by controlling shareholder Jan Zadruzynski, write in the annual report: "Trading results were lower than expectations but were on the back of a difficult period with increasing raw material costs, and the integration of many new products and customers as a result of the acquisition in 2011."
The business acquired Standard Soaps soon after Mr Zadruzynski led a management buy-out from L'Oreal in November 2010.
Soapworks was set up in 1988 by the late Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick, who was involved in charitable projects around the world and had taken up a challenge to do something to help the employment blackspot of Easterhouse.
A £1m investment created jobs for 14 mainly unemployed people, since when Soapworks has grown to become the UK's biggest soap manufacturer, supplying high street retailers in the UK and exporting to continental Europe, Canada, Russia and China.
Mr Zadruzynski, an original employee and managing director since 1999, has a 51% stake with 42% held by directors and managers and 7% by other staff.
Remuneration of the highest-paid director, assumed to be Mr Zadruzynski, was static at £108,728.
Shareholder funds slipped from £532,922 to £445,691.