Profits down at Fisherman’s Friend

Lofthouse of Fleetwood, a Lancashire Business View Fab 500 company, has seen a dramatic dip in profits, down from £4.8m last year to £329,000.

Fishermans FriendThe company, behind the famous Fisherman’s Friend confectionery, said that a weak exchange rate had seen sharp rises in the cost of ingredients, as well as operatioonal costs for its Malaysian manufacturing plant.

Staff costs also increased, with the family business increasing its workforce from 285 staff to 312.

Revenue was up £1m, however, reaching £39.9m. This was in part due to a heavy advertising campaign introduced this year.

A company statement said: "While turnover has increased, the gross margin has reduced, largely due to increased cost of ingredients. In addition, the production facilities in Malaysia are proving more costly due to the weakness of sterling. Furthermore, high advertising costs have been incurred during the year due to a local campaign."