Tip Top breadmaker Allied Foods keeps annual sales unchanged, resumes dividends
By Jonathan Underhill
Jan. 6 (BusinessDesk) – Allied Foods (NZ), whose products include Tip Top bread and Big Ben pies, posted sales that were little changed in 2013, while making its first dividend payment in three years.
Revenue was $275.5 million in the year ended Sept. 1, 2013, from $276.6 million a year earlier, according to the company’s annual report filed with the Companies Office. A small increase in expenses saw profit fall to $13.4 million from about $16 million.
Allied Foods is part of Australia’s George Weston Foods, which brought the Tip Top brand to New Zealand in the early 1950s. The Australian foodmaker in turn is owned by Associated British Foods, the listed UK food and ingredients giant with operations in 47 countries. Associated British shares have soared about 60 percent in the past 12 months.
Allied Foods paid a dividend of $4.49 a share, or a total of $20 million, in 2013, the first such payment since 2010, when it paid $70 a share, or $35 million, its accounts show.
Cost of sales edged up 0.7 percent to $169 million, while distribution expenses were little changed at $45 million and administration costs rose 3.7 percent to about $43 million.
Along with Tip Top and Big Ben, the company makes Ploughmans Bakery and Burgen bread, Bazaar flatbreads and Golden crumpets.
Allied Foods competes against Goodman Fielder, which posted a 9 percent drop in earnings from baking in its latest year, while saying the sector remains challenging because of the impact of private label, competitor and in-store baking competition on proprietary brands.