MACKIE’S of Scotland, the ice cream and chocolate maker, has lifted turnover above £20 million and increased its workforce to more than 100 for the first time in its most recent financial year.

But profits tumbled by more than 20% amid the soaring price of ingredients, including cream.

Family-owned Mackie’s increased turnover to £20.8m from £17.7m in the year ended May 31, 2023, figures released this morning show. The firm said it sold more than 13.3 million litres of ice cream over the period, helping it increase its share of the UK premium ice cream market by 13%. Export sales grew by 27%.

Chocolate sales were reported to have grown by 33%.

And the Aberdeenshire company has pledged to make further investment to increase its production capacity, as it targets a bigger share of key markets.

However, it reported that pre-tax profits dipped to £1.34m from £1.7m, as overall costs increased by 30.89%. Costs rose in line with turnover growth and a "significant increase in the cost price of ingredients", though the firm said it had “absorbed as much of these rising costs as possible”.

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“The cost of cream, which is one of the company's biggest outgoings, remained high for the first half of the financial year," the accounts state. 

“Fluctuations in the price of cream and other ingredients are largely outwith the company's control, depending on wider, often global, market forces.”

The company, which generates 70% of its energy requirements on site at its Westertown dairy farm with solar panels, wind turbines, and biomass boilers, said its growth has been underpinned by years of “heavy” reinvestment in business sustainability, machinery, and people. It said that this reinvestment has improved efficiency, capacity and laid the foundations for further growth.

Mackie's ice cream, which comes in the top-selling traditional, honeycomb and recently added indulgent toffee fudge flavours, is available in the UK in Sainsbury's, Waitrose, and Morrisons, with the company aiming to add more listings in its current financial year.

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Managing director Stuart Common said: “We are thrilled to announce that thanks to the hard work and dedication of our incredible team making our delicious products, Mackie's has reached this turnover milestone. Despite the challenges of rising costs and supply chain issues, our staff have gone above and beyond to continue producing Scotland's favourite premium ice cream to the highest standards.

“This landmark achievement reflects the progress Mackie's has made over the years and shows the strength of our brand and products. We’re extremely proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to achieving even greater success in the years to come.”

He added: “We are looking to invest to further increase our production capacity in order to widen the availability of our products across the UK. We plan to install new equipment and production lines enabling us to scale up manufacturing while maintaining our commitment to sustainability and quality.”

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In April last year, the company ended its Mackie’s of Taypack joint venture, which produced Mackie’s crisps in partnership with the Taylor farming family of Perthshire. The Taylor family continues to make the crisps and now sells them under its own name, following a rebrand.

Mac Mackie, chairman of Mackie’s of Scotland, said: “As a proudly Scottish family business, we remain dedicated to our Aberdeenshire home here on the family farm, while also being determined to continue to provide moments of joy to our customers across the world through our ice cream and chocolate.”