Walkers Shortbread has seen its sales break the GBP100m (US$163.3m) mark, which in turn boosted the company's profits for the 2009 fiscal year.

Record sales helped the Speyside-based company to increase pre-tax profits by 20.5% to GBP7.9m in 2008, according to documents filed at Companies House.
For the year ended 31 December, sales rose 14.5% to GBP107.6m boosted by new production lines and strong overseas sales.

Operating profit improved to reach GBP5.6m from GBP4.9m in the previous year.

"We believe that the ongoing development of the business and the recent strengthening of management structures and processes, leaves us well placed to meet the challenges of the world recession, competition and volatility in financial markets", the company said. "We believe these features will allow us to sustain the business through what is developing into the most severe recession in living memory."

Although domestic revenues still account for most of Walkers' business, sales into export markets grew "strongly" in 2008, the company said, accounting for 40.8% of total turnover.

The Scottish company said it is investing strongly to allow for further growth after setting up new production lines at its Elgin bakery and nearing completion of a new research and development facility.