MACKIE'S of Scotland has hailed a huge rise in profits from take-home ice cream sales and a boost in chocolate sales.

In the year ending 31 May 2020, Mackie's saw its revenue increase 1% to £16.7m and operating profits increasing 61% to £3.4m. Chocolate sales increased by 46% after recipe refinements helped secure further supermarket listings and buyer loyalty.

The family firm is reinvesting millions into a sustainability drive, it said.

The business started construction of a £4.5m low-carbon refrigeration system that will become one of the most advanced in Europe, and it also saw net assets increase by 18% to £18.59m, which it said is a sign of the level of investment back into the business and its green ambitions.  

Mac Mackie, managing director of the business and one of three sibling owners, has heralded the firm’s performance, highlighting that the figures factor in the first three months of lockdown.

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He said: “These stellar results are made all the more impressive when we consider that we were “competing” against the previous financial year, which accounted for the record heatwave summer of 2018.

“We broke all our own records then, and thought it would be very difficult to match that in the following year.

“With the first lockdown period in March, and the last quarter of the financial year, we initially witnessed a panic buying rush as the public filled freezers and baskets with staples, and not ice cream. For a few weeks, demand for take-home tubs of ice cream fell and our foodservice accounts sadly ground to a near halt, including temporary closure of our own 19.2 parlour in Aberdeen."

He said: “However, we are very fortunate that ice cream sales quickly recovered, with increased demand as consumers seek a little luxury or pick me up treat while in lockdown at home.

“To see revenue increase, by even a small margin, is a credit to everyone in our team, we’ve had to be fleet of foot, to be able to keep working, at home and remotely, while creating and incorporating the many new safety procedures required.

“It’s especially pleasing to see chocolate perform so well too. Since the end of this reported financial year we launched our first new flavour since the launch in 2014 – Orange – which has also been received very favourably, and we’ve been able to donate more than 10,000 bars to hospitals, ambulance bases, care homes and call centres.”

Mackie’s staff numbers increased to 91, from 83, with 10 additional staff recruited for ice cream production to help manage increased demand along with the need to work for longer hours in smaller groups, to ensure full distancing

Its parlour, 19.2 in Aberdeen managed to continue service with home delivery operation, Deliveroo, however like many outlets the parlour has had to close during some lockdown periods.

Mackie’s, which is based on the fourth-generation Westertown Farm in Aberdeenshire, said it continues to invest profits into the long term sustainability of the business, which is already carbon positive partly because of four major wind turbines and a 10-acre solar farm, once Scotland’s largest.

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