Pieminister reveals cost of staying in Bristol – £500,000
THE decision by gourmet pie-maker Pieminister to stay in Bristol cost the firm just under £500,000, it has emerged.
The firm, which has its headquarters in Stokes Croft, has revealed its annual accounts showing that the decision not to move its production facilities to South Wales resulted in it making a loss.
As reported in The Post, the firm announced at the start of last year it was moving production to a plant near Cardiff after the lease on its bakery in Bristol came to an end.
The move would have resulted in the loss of 40 jobs but was shelved after the bank agreed to back Pieminster.
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The firm has always been associated with Bristol and has based its branding and marketing around being based in the city.
The company was renting its four-acre bakery in Westbury-on-Trym from the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust but faced having to move when the lease expired.
However, a new deal has been agreed and the funding from the bank has also meant it has been able to expand with several new shops in London.
Jon Simon, co-founder of the firm, said: "Last year we had one of our best year's ever in terms of revenue.
"We took a conscious decision to plough that money back into Bristol. We want to grow the firm and have plans to expand the business in Bristol.
"We want to keep this business in the city and create more jobs for Bristol people."
The firm, which is now in its tenth year, saw a 28 per cent increase in revenues but still made a loss over the 12 months as a result of the abandoned move.
The firm is planning a major expansion over the next 12 months and is also in the process of refurbishing its original outlet in Stokes Croft.
Pieminister was founded by friends Jon Simon and Tristan Hogg met while working together in London.
As well as selling pies to the supermarkets and independent stores, the firm has also expanded its chain of pie shops which now includes a branch in Amsterdam and Ireland.
According to the figures, the firm's turnover increased to £8.3 million in its financial year, up from £6.5 million for the same period the previous year.
As a result of the costs surrounding the planned move the company finished the year with a loss of £66,417. In the previous 12 months, the firm made a profit of £268,741. Exceptional costs totalled £451,724, with about £110,000 of that linked to move to Wales.
A further £341,491 in exceptional costs was paid as a pension contribution to support the acquisition of the bakery in Westbury-on-Trym.
The directors' report said the purchase of the site would "secure the production facility in the long-term and allow Pieminister to further invest in the site" and expand. Over the last 12 months the company increased the number of staff from 103 in 2011 to 153.
In the report the directors said its revenue growth was driven by increasing customer penetration and opening new retail units in London.
The firm added that expansion "has not been limited to the UK" as its operations in Ireland reported double digit growth.