New ‘Baker Direct’ website has been launched
So come on Bakers, register now for free
Customers have to simply pop in your postcode to find you and then over to you to capture and deliver the order.
Baker Direct is supported by bakery trade groups.
Delivery services are springing up in Ireland & the UK.
BAKO WESTERN LIMITED CHAIRWOMAN’S REPORT
FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR ENDED 28TH FEBRUARY, 2021
Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to all the team at Bako. They have worked hard for a prolonged period to keep the company on a strong footing and to ensure goods reached all of our members. Some members closed their businesses at the start of the 1st lockdown and others have remained open amid difficult trading conditions.
I would also like to thank our members for their understanding during the very difficult months we have had keeping up with supply and demand, and to assure you that Bako was doing all it could behind the scenes, to make sure deliveries arrived on time and safely for everyone involved; your continued support is much appreciated.
Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow directors who have continued to support Bako and be available for alternative methods of holding meetings. I am now pleased to say that as from May we were back in person holding full board meetings at Bako.
Initially Brexit was expected to give us a very challenging year, but this was overshadowed by Covid and both raised real issues over the supply of goods.
During the year the business minimised the effect of Covid through cost reductions and the furlough scheme.
Regular Zoom video conferencing board meetings were held to review the operational performance of the business and provide guidance/advice and feedback from our customers to the board.
Our warehouse system which went live in December 2019, during the last year has proved to be invaluable giving us full visibility of stock age, and helped with the volume changes we have experienced during periods of lock down. We plan further improvement to the warehouse management system in the forthcoming year.
Our systems and processes ensure that high standards are maintained in order to retain our BRC accreditation.
In what has been a tough year we have seen a major reduction in turnover. However there has been significant reduction in cost to maintain our gross and net margin percentages at similar levels to the previous year. Turnover reduced to £25.1m down by £8.4m from £33.5m in 2020. Operating profits reduced to from £660k to £460k.
The company continues to be in a strong financial position with net balance sheet assets of £8.45m at 28th February, 2021 (£8.43m 2020) this reflects rebates paid to members during the financial year. Net current assets increased to £4.9m from £4.6m in 2020.
Whilst there has been a reduction in volume and turnover, the business remains financially strong and well positioned for the long term with volumes improving post lock down as restrictions ease.
The year ending February 2021 was extremely difficult, with a reduction in revenue of 25% and volumes by 31%. This has sadly led to the need to make changes in staffing levels within the business. As sales volume return we will recruit to maintain a balance in cost to service.
We have seen an increase in revenue per ton of 4% in the last 2 financial years which has continued into the new financial year. The drivers for this are inflationary pressures combined with a long term move in customer demand for finished products and mixes and a reduction in single product ingredients. This has had an impact and seen a reduction in the range of products stocked from 3500 to just under 3100. While a number of these will have been one off special items, there has been a clear reduction in the width of supplier product ranges whether from customer demand or availability from suppliers.
While sales in the new financial year have not returned to pre-Covid levels we are showing a strong recovery. The lack of people travelling abroad gave us a significant uplift for the Whitsun half term week which is likely to continue. The increase in volumes combined with global challenges to supply chains is making for a difficult period with industry wide staff shortages that we are all experiencing.
After a difficult year it was very positive that we were able to provide a rebate to all our members who have and continue to meet payment terms.
We celebrate 60 years in business this year. We were originally known as The Western Bakers’ Buying Association, whose sole aim as it is today, was to buy collectively at advantageous prices. We are pleased to say that our aims have remained unchanged. We are indebted to those original members for their hard work and vision not only in setting up the business but in taking it forward to enable it to grow to where we are today.
We look forward to a more positive year ahead, and once again thank you to all our members within Bako, my fellow directors and management and staff.
Take care and stay safe!
Karen Milner, Chair Woman