Bury St Edmunds firm Treatt puts Suffolk Park move back to 2021 because of coronavirus
Leading ingredient supplier Treatt has seen ‘no adverse effect’ on trading as a result of the coronavirus crisis, but has delayed relocating.
The company has said the move from its site in Northern Way, Bury St Edmunds, to Suffolk Park near Moreton Hall will not be completed this summer - as originally planned. Instead, the move could be made next year, although a timetable has not yet been confirmed.
Richard Hope, chief financial officer, said: “The relocation has been delayed because of the current situation. It will go ahead as planned but instead of doing it this year, it will be next year.
“But we don’t know how long the lockdown is going to last.”
The relocation delay was announced in Treatt’s trading update for the half year up to March 31. The Bury St Edmunds base is the company’s only UK location and also has locations in China, the US and Kenya. The move to the Suffolk Park estate began last year with a breaking ground ceremony.
Treatt plays a role in the food, beverage and cleaning supply chains. The report said order intake in recent weeks had been ‘strong’ and there had been ‘no adverse effect’ on trading performance as a result of Covid-19 measures.
The report stated: “In both the UK and US all non-essential staff are working from home and manufacturing continues. We are working within government guidelines and with appropriate health protection and wellbeing measures in place.”
The report stated Treatt was performing in line with market predictions but 5.1 per cent below the same period for last year.
Treatt said the business had been hit by a sharp fall in citrus raw material prices. Citrus is a significant part of the business, but there had been gains in fruit, vegetables, tea and health products.
The report continued: “The business is both trading well and is financially robust.
“We are encouraged by our order book and current demand as we move into our peak seasonal period.
“The focus we have made over recent years on the culture in the business means that we have an incredibly strong and committed team of employees who we know will shine in these exceptional times, whilst protecting the health and safety of each other and the wider communities in which we operate.”
The report added: “The culture in the business means that we have an incredibly strong and committed team of employees who we know will shine in these exceptional times.”