Haulier shortages drive down McBride shares

Supermarket supplier McBride has halved its profit projections after being rocked by driver shortages and soaring material costs.

The company, which sells detergent, toothpaste and mouthwash, has scrapped the guidance because of uncertainty surrounding the “volatile input cost environment”.

According to The Times, it expects pre-tax profits for the year to June 30 2022 to be 55 per cent to 65 per cent lower than the £19.7 million it made last year.

Shares in the company plunged from 87p to 71p before rebounding slightly.

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Investec analysts said they had reduced forecasts for profit to £8 million and for earnings to £12.5 million.

Although this was a “sharp drop, the group expects to rebound quickly as it enters 2023”.

McBride blamed “exceptional price increases” in raw materials and supply availability for the downgrade.

It added that was struggling with deliveries in the UK, where a quarter of sales take place, and Germany thanks to a lack of lorry drivers.

Supermarkets including Tesco, Asda and Waitrose have offered four-figure bonuses to recruit hauliers.

Experts believe that Britain needs around 60,000 to 100,000 extra HGV drivers.

McBride also said it faced tough comparisons with last year, when demand for cleaning items soared as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold.

Sales are running 4 per cent below their 2020 level.

Last month, Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever admitted the shrinking popularity of hygiene products had hit revenues.

“We are now past ‘peak sanitiser’ but are still consuming more than in 2019,” chief executive Alan Jope said.

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