The boom in home cooking during Covid led to surging sales and profits at olive oil supplier Filippo Berio last year.
In the year to 31 Decmeber 2020, the UK arm of the Italian olive oil group saw a 26% jump in annual sales to £63.6m, with volumes up by 30% year on year.
The accounts stated Covid had a “significant positive impact” on the business, given the higher proportion of meals being consumed in the home during lockdowns and periods of hospitality restrictions.
UK MD Walter Zanre said 2020 was an “exceptional and unique year”.
“With lockdown, the 40% of food normally consumed out of home moved to in-home and the entire grocery sector benefited, including olive oil.”
The uplift in sales was accompanied by increased margin, depsite investment in marketing and advertising during the year.
The group incurred extra costs to maintain levels of service and availability, but these have been “affordable” and its suppliers in Italy were able to increase production to meet increased demand.
Gross profits were up 59% to £7.5m, while pre-tax profits more than doubled from £2m to £4.4m.
Zanre said trading so far in 2021 has been “much tougher”, given the reduced impact of Covid and “sky-rocketing” logistics and raw material costs.