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Hickory’s Smokehouse increases profits and created 300 jobs before Greene King buyout

Hickory's Smokehouse

Hickory's Smokehouse has revealed a $5 million-plus profit in the last year before it was bought by pub conglomerate Greene King.

According to its latest accounts, the Chester-based company also created nearly 300 jobs during the most recent fiscal year.

The company's turnover increased from £19.4 million to £50.8 million in the fiscal year ending April 2022.

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It made a pre-tax profit of £5.4 million after losing £458,987 the previous year.

During the year, the company's headcount also increased from 896 to 1,188.

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In 2019, before the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company's turnover totaled £29.5m, with a pre-tax loss of £509,953.

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The company employed a total of 663 people in 2022.

Hickory's Smokehouse has made its first profit since being backed by Piper.

The accounts are from after Greene King purchased Hickory's Smokehouse near the end of 2022.

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The transaction provided an exit for Piper, a private equity firm that had backed the company since 2014.

A statement signed off by the board said: "The directors are satisfied with the results for the year. The results for the year reflect a very strong post-Covid performance which has continued beyond the year's end.

"On a like-for-like basis, the business is consistently over 30 percent higher than its pre-Covid levels.

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"In the early part of the financial year, the group and company made use of the government's Job Retention Scheme to protect those team members who were impacted by the continued restrictions required by Covid-19.

"The group benefitted in the year from interest paid by HMG under the EBILs scheme. The group has repaired its balance sheet from the damage done by the lockdowns and at year-end has net bank debt of just £1.5 million.

"The group continues to generate cash to further fund the expansion of the business. The company and the group remain well placed to grow the estate even further as the group actively seeks new locations for Hickory's Smokehouse."

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In the prior financial year, the company's net debt stood at £5.7 million.

Hickory's Smokehouse was created in Chester by Neil McDonnell in 2010 and has locations in Burton Green, Castle Bromwich, Chester, Gresty Green, Horbury, Hutton, Nuthall, Poynton, Rhos-on-Sea, Shrewsbury, Southport, Wall Heath, West Kirby, Wilmslow and Worcester.

Source: Business Live

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