Pontefract's sweet success

Pontefract sweet-making giant Haribo has said it is in a "good position" to meet the challenges currently facing the UK confectionery industry.

The company reported turnover of £172.7m for the year ending 31 December 2017, up from £166m in 2016. Pre-tax profit also increased to £21.2m from £19m the year before.

There was a 1.2 per cent decline in overall consumption in the UK confectionery market in 2017; however, the company's Haribo and Maoam brands continued to outperform the sector.

In the UK, sales increased by £1.6m, with growth from the Tangfastics, Strawbs and Goldbears sub-brands and Maoam was offset by a decline in sales of themed product lines.

A spokesperson from Haribo said: "2017 continued to be a challenging year for the UK confectionery industry; consumption levels have decreased and there was also a decline in pound sterling versus the Euro.

"Despite this Haribo and Maoam maintained their market leading positions, key products experienced strong growth and export sales increased; success we attribute to delivering high quality, popular products in the right bag sizes and for a variety of usage occasions.

"We expect challenges ahead but believe that we are in a good position to face these head-on. We have the capacity to grow our overseas markets, we have a strong brand, believe in our products and in our responsible approach to delivering more choice for our consumers."

In their report accompanying the results, the directors said the overall level of consumption of confectionery in the UK is set to continue to decline. The uncertainties around Brexit are also expected have "a negative impact on the economy in general and on the level of disposable income consumers have in particular".

However, they emphasised the company was well-placed for the future, adding: "The increase in capacity due to the increase in output from our new factory will enable us to continue to support other markets and grow our overseas business in 2018."

Germany-headquartered Haribo bought a stake in Dunhills in 1972 before completing a buyout in 1994.