New Weetabix owner milks strong growth

 
Kasmira Jefford
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WEETABIX, the iconic cereal brand which also owns Alpen as well as Ready Brek, defied one of the worst wheat harvests in over half a century to post a six per cent rise in sales last year.

The company, which was forced to scale back production of some of its mini ranges after UK crops were destroyed, yesterday reported group revenues of £457m in the year to 29 December compared with £432m in the same period in 2011. Pre-tax profits fell from £73.2m to £69m in the period, accounts filed under its parent company Latimer Group at Companies House show.

Chief executive Giles Turrell said the consumer market continued to be particularly tough, but new product launches such as Alpen porridge had helped to drive its performance.

Bright Food, a Chinese company, bought a 60 per cent stake in Weetabix last year in a deal that valued the business at £1.2bn.