Mackie's of Scotland ice cream sales are far from frozen as profits rise

Scotland’s largest ice cream producer has posted record revenues and profit despite the dual challenges of rising costs and Covid lockdown restrictions.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 4th March 2022, 6:15 am
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 7:30 am

Turnover at the Rothienorman-based, family-owned Mackie’s of Scotland increased by 11 per cent to £18.5 million (up from £16.7 million) while operating profit rose by 19 per cent to £4.1 million (compared to £3.4 million), according to annual accounts to the year ending May 31, 2021.

Growth in the UK premium ice cream market was spearheaded by a 40 per cent increase in sales in England and Wales, with breakthrough second and third listings of its ice cream range proving popular in major superstores including Sainsbury’s, Asda, the Co-op and Marks & Spencer.

The growth followed a year of investment in the brand with new packaging, new website and digital advertising campaigns throughout the year.

Sales of Mackie's range of ice creams have continued to grow.

Mackie’s range of chocolate bars enjoyed a significant 15 per cent uplift in UK sales, while Mackie’s generated income from its investment into renewable energy, which delivers surplus energy into the grid and comprises a 7000 panel solar farm, four large-scale wind turbines at the fourth-generation Westertown Farm, as well as a biomass plant.

Mackie’s continued to invest in its biggest ever project – a £4.5 million innovative low carbon refrigeration facility. Supported by the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure transition programme, it is due to complete this spring and should enable a reduction in energy use of up to 80 per cent, contributing to the company’s objective of being 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewable energy.

Mac Mackie, managing director and one of three family owners at Mackie’s, said: “We are very pleased to have delivered a robust performance and positive financial results which show steady growth for the eighth consecutive year.

“Our focus for the current year will be to build on the improvements that we have made to our production plant and systems to deliver increased output volume, improved quality, and greater cost control and efficiency throughout the business.

Mackie's of Scotland's Spiral Freezer (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

“The company continues to make Scotland’s favourite premium ice cream and plans to continue to grow the brand offering to our customers with two new flavours launching this year whilst improving efficiency and returns from all areas of the business.

“For the current trading year, sales to our major retailers remain strong, but overall company performance will be affected due to continuing cost increases, and profit is forecast to be lower than in 2020/21.”

A Real Living Wage employer, Mackie’s headcount has increased to 95.

Staff numbers at the farm increased in order to cope with increased production, with nine more staff, but the staff team at Mackie’s 19.2 ice cream parlour in Aberdeen was almost halved to six due to less trading during the pandemic.

The Mackie family have been farming at Westertown farm since 1912. Pictured, from left, are Karin Hayhow, Mac Mackie and Kirstin McNutt. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)