Baxters Food Group has snapped up UK firm Orexis Fresh Foods, a deal that marks the soup-to-condiments maker’s entry into the country’s chilled-foods market.

Privately-owned Baxters, headquartered in Edinburgh, described the London-based Orexis Fresh Foods as “a well-established fresh-food manufacturer specialising in chilled, ready-to-eat products”.

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Set up in 1991, Orexis Fresh Foods supplies a range of dips, including salsa, houmous and guacamole, to retail and foodservice customers in the UK under its own brands, private label and licensing arrangements.

Audrey Baxter, the executive chairman and CEO of Baxters Food Group, said: “The acquisition is part of our global growth strategy and offers us the opportunity to expand our UK offering into chilled food.” Financial terms were not disclosed.

Baxters Food Group is predominantly an ambient-food business. Outside the UK, it markets a chilled product in Australia and some frozen lines in the US.

The most recent set of accounts for Baxters Food Group available at the UK’s Companies House cover the 12 months to 30 March 2019.

Revenue fell 11% to GBP302m (US$396.6m) on the back of the company’s sale of its business in Canada in May 2018.

Stripping out the impact of the disposal of the Canadian assets, net sales stood at GBP300.5m, up from GBP299.3m a year earlier. 

On a reported basis, EBITDA was GBP33.3m, versus GBP27.6m the previous year. EBITDA before exceptional items, which included the impact of the Canada sale among other one-off costs, was down 15% at GBP29.2m.

Before exceptional items, Baxters Food Group’s profit for the period was GBP6.1m, against GBP15.95m a year earlier. On a reported basis, profit reached GBP7.4m, compared to GBP8.8m the previous year.