Wakefield Speedibake owner received £30m insurance payout after blaze at city factory

The owner of Wakefield's Speedibake factory received an insurance payout of £30m after a fire devastated the site.

Thursday, 5th November 2020, 12:44 pm

The bakery was destroyed in a massive blaze earlier this year, which engulfed much of the city in smoke and burned for several days.

Just weeks later, Associated British Foods, which owns the company, confirmed it would be permanently closing the site, after a review concluded that "the financial cost and time needed to undertake a full rebuild is simply too great".

But in its annual results, published this week, ABF revealed it has received a £30m insurance payment as a result of the fire.

Speedibake was destroyed in a massive blaze earlier this year, which engulfed much of the city in smoke and burned for several days. Photo: Scott Merrylees

The payment "more than offset" the £25m costs which came about as a result of the fire and closure of the site, the company said.

In the results, ABF said: "Our Speedibake Wakefield factory was destroyed by fire in February and an exceptional charge of £25m was recognised in the half year results.

"This comprised an £18m non-cash write-down of property, plant and equipment, a £1m provision against inventory and £6m of closure costs.

"Net insurance proceeds of £30m were received in the second half, more than offsetting the exceptional charge recorded in the first half.

Speedibake was destroyed in a massive blaze earlier this year, which engulfed much of the city in smoke and burned for several days. Photo: Andrew Parkinson

"The full year position is an exceptional gain of £5m recorded in the Grocery and United Kingdom operating segments."

A second Speedibake factory, in Bradford, remains in operation.

A spokesperson for Associated British Foods said: “We can confirm we have agreed terms with our insurers in relation to the fire which devastated the buildings.

"Regrettably, despite the insurance settlement we concluded it was not economically viable to reopen the bakery.

"We remain hugely grateful to the Wakefield community for their support in the weeks and months after the fire, including all those who worked on the site.”