Waitrose to "more than double" range - Duchy chairman

Waitrose to "more than double" range - Duchy chairman

Duchy Originals, the UK organic food business founded by the Prince of Wales, has booked a loss of over GBP3m (US$4.7m) as sales slumped and the company incurred costs from the sale of its bakery.

In a filing at Companies House, Duchy reported a loss of GBP3.3m for the year to the end of March 2009.

The loss was due in part to just under GBP2m in charges from the subsequent sale of its bakery site in Launceston.

Excluding one-off costs that included the Launceston sale, Duchy booked a loss of GBP1.2m.

Turnover came in at GBP2.2m, against GBP4.1m in Duchy's previous financial year.

In prior years, Duchy handed its profits to the Prince of Wales' Charities Foundations but the loss meant no donation was made this year.

However, chairman Michael Jary said Duchy's tie-up with Waitrose, the upmarket UK retailer, will "significantly increase" the company's donations with investment in the Duchy brand planned.

Waitrose will make, distribute and sell Duchy products in the UK and Jary said the retailer aims to double the Duchy range from 200 products "to around 500".

Jary added: "The agreement is good for the company, good for the Duchy Originals brand, good for Waitrose, good for our consumers and good for charity."