Bettys hits tasty £10m profit for first time in its history

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Tea and confectionary business Bettys and Taylors Group saw its pre-tax profit hit £10m for the first time in its history following a year of strong sales growth.

The Harrogate-based group grew pre-tax profit by £2.2m to £10m, while turnover rose by 14 per cent to £133.2m in the year to October 31, 2012.

The company said its record performance followed a year of strong sales growth across the two businesses.

Group finance and resources director Paul Cogan said: “In difficult times people turn to businesses and brands that they can trust; where quality is never compromised and which consistently offer good value for money.

“It means a great deal to us that customers continue to choose to purchase a good cup of Yorkshire Tea or a delicious Bettys cake.”

The group includes tea and coffee merchant Taylors of Harrogate, six Bettys Café Tea Rooms, Bettys online shop, Craft Bakery and Bettys Cookery School.

Over the year, the group contributed £356,000 to charitable and community projects in Yorkshire and in tea and coffee growing countries.

In 2012, Bettys also gave 1,293 employees the equivalent of an additional six weeks pay through the group profit share scheme, which has been operating for 30 years. The group is owned by Jonathan and Lesley Wild. Mr Wild, the great nephew of Frederick Belmont, the Swiss confectioner who founded Bettys in 1919, retired as chief executive in 2011 after more than 35 years with the family-owned business.

He was replaced by Andrew Baker, the first non-family member to take the helm of the business.

But Mr Baker left after just four months, with the company saying that the “longer-term ambitions and cultural direction for the group called for a different approach.”

The day-to-day running of the company is now overseen by joint managing directors Andy Brown and Linda Close.

There are six Bettys tearooms – two in Harrogate, two in York, Northallerton and Ilkley. The company has famously refused to open branches outside of Yorkshire.