Snacking and ingredients firm Whitworths saw a “significant sales increase” during lockdown with a turnover of more than £117 million, according to the company’s annual financial results.

While sales were up as a result of the pandemic, Whitworths added that it had incurred some additional costs in ensuring its workplace and its staff were safe.  

Whitworths’ operating losses also fell from £1.2 million in 2019 to £0.6 million. As well as this, the company also invested in its factory, with a three-year redevelopment project planned which will include a new nut production facility. The development was halted this year due to Covid-19, with plans to resume in early 2021.

Mark Fairweather, Whitworth’s CEO, said: “2019 saw a lot of strong fundamental improvements across all areas of the business to pave the way for the next few years, with our branded and retail branded businesses moving forward, an exciting regeneration programme getting underway and a cost base now fit for purpose.

“In 2020 we have already seen benefits from this hard work, with lots still to come before the year is out. We all remain incredibly excited about our impending launch of Protein by Nature later this year.”

The business has been in a transition period since the acquisition by Turkish fruit and nut firm Anatolia in 2017, which was sanctioned in order to stabilise and provide the foundations for growth. This included a significant review of the cost base of the business, which reduced the cost base by more than £1m, according to Whitworths.