ABF buys UK sports nutrition firms H5, Reflex Nutrition - Just Food
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ABF buys UK sports nutrition firms H5, Reflex Nutrition

19 Apr 2017

Associated British Foods today (19 April) revealed it has acquired UK sports nutrition businesses H5 Ltd and Reflex Nutrition.

ABF buys UK sports nutrition firms H5, Reflex Nutrition

Associated British Foods today (19 April) revealed it has acquired UK sports nutrition businesses H5 Ltd and Reflex Nutrition.

The UK-based ABF disclosed the deals alongside the publication of its half-year results. It did not reveal the prices it had paid for the firms.

“During the first half, we acquired two small sports nutrition businesses in the UK which have well-known brands in targeted niche markets. High5 is a hydration and energy brand popular with endurance athletes and Reflex provides a range of premium protein-based recovery products. This is a new high-growth market segment and we plan to develop these brands and broaden their distribution,” ABF, which owns UK food brands from Kingsmill bread to Jordans muesli, said.

According to the High5 website, the company behind the brand is called Leicestershire-based H5 Ltd. Products in the High5 range include electrolyte sports drinks and whey protein. Stockists include outdoor retailer Millets and independent cycling stores, predominantly in south-east England.

Filings on Companies House indicate H5 Ltd’s registered office moved from its site in Leicestershire to ABF’s central London address at the end of March.

In the 12 months to 31 October, H5 Ltd generated a turnover of GBP9.2m (US$11.8m), up from GBP8.2m a year earlier, Companies House filings show. Pre-tax profits were down 7.8% at GBP2m.

The accounts were filed at the end of January. H5 provided brief commentary on trading in its new financial year: “The company generated a gross profit margin of 31% [in its last financial year]. Our aspiration is for a margin improvement in 2016/17. The current financial year has started well. During 2016, strategy changes were implemented which resulted in the increase in sales for the year. The management are confident High5 will continue to maintain year-on-year sales increases. These increases will be spread across all sales channels.”

The Reflex range includes protein powder, bars and drinks. Its powders also include a plant-based SKU. Products are available through channels including the Reflex site and the brand has a presence in overseas markets.

Reflex Nutrition, the business behind the Reflex brand, is based in Brighton in southern England. Its registered office was also changed to ABF’s London headquarters at the end of last month.

The most recent accounts for Reflex Nutrition available at Companies House are for the year to 31 December 2015. Turnover stood at GBP9.9m, compared to GBP9.2m in 2014. Reflex Nutrition pointed to “increased business in the Middle East and the sales of our new protein bars”. Reflex Nutrition said its business in the EU had “suffered during 2015” due to the strength of sterling that year.

Operating profit was GBP1.6m, versus GBP1.3m. Net profit reached GBP1.2m, against GBP1m in 2014. The improvement in profits was helped in part by a “softening of global prices of milk protein” during 2015.