The UK arm of sweet manufacturing giant Haribo is set to increase production at its West Yorkshire facility, creating 50 jobs. The company has reported an increase in turnover to more than £180m in its latest financial results.
Based in Pontefract, Dunhills (Pontefract) makes, distributes and sells products under the Haribo and Maoam brands. The business, which operates two UK factories and currently employs more than 720 people, will increase production at its Castleford facility in early 2020, moving from a two- to a three-shift system.
The expansion follows export success and a new agreement to supply Haribo products across the US. Jon Hughes, who was appointed as managing director at Haribo UK in 2018, said: “This is great news for our team, for our region and for UK manufacturing.
“In 2013 we announced a significant investment in a new state-of-the-art factory so that we could bolster our UK manufacturing capabilities and have the capacity not only to meet the demand for our products in the UK, but to increase our research and development and export potential.”
“Our ambitious plans are being realised. Following the launch of our Castleford site we brought full production of Maoam to the UK for the very first time. From January 2020 we will be responsible for meeting the growing demand for HARIBO across the US.
“Our manufacturing excellence and ability to deliver top quality products, both traditional treats alongside new and exciting innovations developed specifically for US consumers, will be showcased globally and this will continue to support the brand’s growth in the UK and overseas.”
Accounts recently filed with Companies house show Dunhills (Pontefract) reported turnover of £181.6m for the year ended 31 December 2018, up from £172.7m in 2017. Pre-tax profit also increased to £21.7m from £21.2m the year before.
Haribo said strong growth for its Supermix and Giant Strawbs sub-brands, as well as portion-controlled mini-bags, had been partly offset by the decline in sales of themed product lines and the collapse of a number of customers. The company’s new products also performed well, with Fruitilicious, a 30 per cent reduced sugar sweet, achieving the highest sales growth in the category.
A spokesperson from Haribo added: “Despite yet another challenging year for the UK confectionery industry Haribo has continued to outperform its competition and has maintained its category leadership. As a family business, this is testament to the continued investment we have made into our brands and our people; to listening to our consumers and our ability to deliver more choice into the market.
“Our family favourite treats continue to perform well and are supported by new products such as our sugar reduced Fruitilicious, which has delivered the highest sales growth within the category. This has been enhanced further by an increase in overseas sales for both the Haribo and Maoam brands.
“There are certainly continued challenges ahead with political uncertainty, potential advertising and promotion restrictions on the category and an expected decline in the general consumption of sweets. However, through the strength of our brands, the quality of our products and our responsible approach, we believe that we are in a relatively good position to face these in the future.”
Germany-headquartered Haribo bought a stake in Dunhills in 1972 before completing a buyout in 1994.