Tag Archive | "expansion"

Cepac to double size of packaging operation in Doncaster


Packaging supplier Cepac are investing £1 million on expanding its site and digital operation in Doncaster, England.

The project is due to begin in early 2017, following the installation of a new digital printing press in April of this year. This will allow the production of innovative packaging with outstanding graphics with very short customer lead times.

The company has four other sites in the North of England, in Rotherham, Darlington, Rawcliffe Bridge and Alfreton. It designs and produces a number of corrugated and shelf-ready packaging items and stocks a variety of products.

Steve Moss, Sales and Marketing Director, says: “Our investment in state of the art printing and manufacturing is not just about meeting customer requirements but being able to exceed their expectations. We are doubling the size of our premises and more than halving customer lead times, offering unrivalled innovation, quality, service and response.

“The packaging world can be traditional and reluctant to change although there is now the opportunity to break away from conventional means of production. Highly printed packaging is now available on demand without the constraint of either long lead times or stockholding. The market for POS and decorative packaging is changing in response to the evolving retail market. In these days of rapidly changing demand Cepac are able to offer a service proposition which is truly transformational.”

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Northern Irish packaging firm to capitalise on growth with £2 million investment


Food packaging manufacturer Boran-Mopack has created 10 new jobs with their £2.4 million investment as part of an export growth drive in Strabane, Co. Tyrone.

Boosted by Invest NI funding of £250,000, the company aims to double exports over the next couple of years after significant investment in machinery and equipment.

Boran-Mopack is part of the Boran group of companies based in Naas, Co. Kildare. The company makes packaging for clients such as major Irish crisps manufacturer Tayto, and is not hoping to branch out their offering into packaging for frozen food, snacks and baked goods.

Managing Director Mairtin Boran says: “This investment signals our commitment to drive the long-term growth of the business and Invest NI’s support has been vital in ensuring we can implement our expansion plans.

“Enhancing our production capabilities to enable us to produce a higher definition of print quality will help us gain an advantage in a competitive industry. With opportunities identified in frozen foods, snacks and baked products, we are working hard to maximise our sales potential and achieve our export ambitions.”

John Hood, director of food at Invest NI, comments: “This important investment has enhanced Boran-Mopack’s production capabilities and positioned the business to reduce its lead times and secure sales in new markets and sectors. Invest NI’s support is underpinning the growth of this business. The 10 new production jobs created in Strabane as a result of the investment is welcome news for the town, and a positive boost for the food and drink manufacturing industry.”

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St Austell Brewery Secures £40 Million Refinancing Deal


British regional brewer and pub operator St Austell Brewery has secured a new £40 million refinancing package with Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays Bank. The Cornish brewer will use the new banking facility to explore further growth opportunities.

Focused primarily on the south west of England, the firm is keen to expand its pub estate. The refinance package will also enable St Austell Brewery to invest in its existing estate of 174 pubs and brewing facilities, while looking to develop new products to complement its award-winning portfolio of beers and ales.

Founded in 1851, St Austell Brewery has an annual turnover approaching £100 million and employs 1,000 people. “We benefit from a strong independent, customer-focused business model and see further opportunities to grow our presence in prime south west markets,” says Colin Stratton, finance director of St Austell Brewery.

Royal Bank of Scotland supplied a £10 million term loan as well as a £12.5 million revolving credit facility while Barclays Bank provided a £12.5 million revolving credit facility and working capital facilities of £5 million.

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Pepsico to Invests £14.4 Million in Quaker Oats Site in Scotland


PepsiCo is investing £14.4 million to increase the capacity of its Quaker Oats site at Cupar in Scotland in a move that will bring 30 jobs to the local area. The investment, which builds on last year’s £8.5 million spend, makes a total of £51 million that parent company PepsiCo has spent on the site over the past decade to meet the surge in consumer demand for porridge.

With the UK porridge market now worth £157 million, the hot cereal market has grown by 30% over the past two years. For PepsiCo, the public’s appetite for quick and easy porridge has helped drive growth with value sales of its Oat So Simple sachets increasing 44% over the last two years. In addition to growth in the UK, PepsiCo has also seen its oats exports rise by 18% over the past five years as demand for Quaker Oats increases in the Middle East.

“More and more people are eating porridge all year round and our investment at Cupar means we’ll be able to satisfy the increasing demand at home and abroad for years to come,” comments Richard Evans, president of PepsiCo UK, Ireland & South Africa. “The porridge market has seen phenomenal growth and what’s particularly interesting is that more and more people are opting for hot cereals for breakfast all year round – whatever the weather. Overseas demand for our oats is also increasing, and we see this as a key area for future growth. Quaker has been milling oats at Cupar since 1947 and we are very pleased to invest again in our site to protect its heritage and grow the Quaker Oats business.”

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The Scottish Salmon Company Reveals £40 Million Expansion Plans


The Scottish Salmon Company has unveiled plans to invest over £40 million to expand its business over the next five years, resulting in the creation of over 100 jobs across the West Coast and islands of Scotland. The Scottish based and operated salmon farming company’s five-year development plan envisages establishing ten new farm sites, increasing farming capacity and developing its harvesting, processing and freshwater operations.

The fully-integrated seafood currently operates from over 50 sites and in 2010 it reported an annual turnover of £92.4 million. In the past two years, the company has more than doubled staff numbers from 160 to 380 and invested £30 million on developments such as refurbishing the Marybank processing facility, acquiring West Minch Salmon, developing new sites and upgrading existing sites. Last year, the company reported it had produced 24,000 tonnes of salmon. Its ambition is to increase this number to 40,000 tonnes in 2016.

“The Scottish Salmon Company produces premium, fresh Scottish salmon with strong and growing demand in the marketplace. To satisfy this, we require to develop our farming and processing capability,” comments Stewart McLelland, chief executive of The Scottish Salmon Company. “People are key to our vision for expansion. We are keen to bring talent into our business, developing skills, and experience to support our growth plans and that of the overall industry.”

He continues: “We are committed to the communities and economies in which we work and understand the real benefit that developing business and providing employment has in these rural locations.”

Around half the jobs are planned for the Western Isles, with the others in the company’s operational areas throughout the Highlands and Argyll and Bute. The Scottish Salmon Company is currently in the process of scoping, consulting on and lodging planning applications for new fish farming sites.

An infrastructure investment of between £1.5 million and £2 million would be required to develop each of the sites. All sites will be developed to the RSPCA’s ‘Freedom Food’ standard, which governs farming principles such as the stocking density, fish welfare and harvest.

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Pukka Pies Continues UK Expansion With £7 Million Investment


UK independent bakery company Pukka Pies has officially opened a new£7 million extension to its factory in Leicestershire, facilitating a 50% increase in production. Established in 1963, Pukka Pies currently produces over 60 million pies annually and employs more than 300 people. It supplies about 12,000 fish and chip shops across the UK as well as supermarkets and more than 40 football clubs.

The new extension, which incorporates a £2.2 million state-of-the-art refrigeration plant, increased cold storage and new distribution docks, has already resulted in the creation of 20 new jobs. It leaves the family-run company well placed to continue with its UK expansion. Last year, Pukka Pies, despite the difficult trading environment, managed to increase sales by 10% to £38 million.

“In challenging economic times, we have enjoyed excellent levels of growth and this new factory will enable us to continue our success story. We continue to provide the highest-quality products to our customers and this new extension will ensure that we retain our position as the UK’s leading manufacturer of branded hot eaten pies,” says Tim Storer, co managing director of Pukka Pies, who runs the company with his brother Andrew: “We are now absolutely cutting edge with our environmental credentials and the extension has improved our working conditions for our employees, too.”

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IDB Secures Additional €100 Million For Dairy Expansion Under Refinancing Package


The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) has completed the refinancing of its existing €250 million syndicated banking facility replacing it with a new three year syndicated bank loan facility of €350 million at competitive pricing, to meet domestic expansion and international growth requirements. The participant Banks are Allied Irish Banks, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, HSBC, Ulster Bank and Rabobank, with IBI Corporate Finance advising on the deal.

This new facility comprises two parts – a €160 million syndicated loan facility to fund IDB’s existing requirements and to invest in developing its international growth strategy; and a €190 million committed syndicated Reverse Invoice Discounting facility (RID) to fund the working capital requirements of IDB’s members. This will provide IDB’s members with an additional €50 million and greater security of funding, replacing the previous uncommitted working capital funding lines provided heretofore by IDB to its members.

The RID is a recent development in supplier financing by international banks to fund the working capital requirements of their international corporate clients. IDB and Rabobank, as lead bank and arranger of the RID, and the other participating banks, have developed a facility which accommodates the specific funding requirements of IDB’s members.

The RID will be used by IDB as the platform to develop a scalable funding solution to finance the increase in working capital requirements that will arise as a result of the anticipated increased milk expansion post the abolition of milk quotas in 2015.

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Morrisons Expansion to Create More than 7,000 New Jobs in 2012


UK supermarket group Morrisons will create more than 7,000 new jobs in 2012 as it continues its store expansion programme as well as developing its manufacturing and logistics arms. The company will be opening 25 new stores in 2012 as it seeks to ensure that more households have a Morrisons within easy reach. Currently there are more than six million households that do not have a Morrisons store within easy driving distance.

 

Many of the new opportunities will be craft skills jobs such as butchery, bakery and fishmongery. Morrisons also aims to be a catalyst for employment in a town by insisting that building suppliers also employ local people.

 

There will also be another 300 people employed at Morrisons’ new Bridgwater Regional Distribution Centre, which will provide food for much of the South West and South Wales. Morrisons is distinct from its main rivals in manufacturing much of its fresh food and aims to continue to develop this capability.

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English Cereals and Meat-free Foods Company to Expand


The Brecks Company, a cereals and meet-free foods business, is to invest £3m at its factory in North Yorkshire, England, in next generation production technology, which will also lead to a doubling of staff numbers. Work starts this summer on building two new 30,000 sq ft manufacturing facilities to enhance production at Selby-based Brecks, after gaining backing from Yorkshire Bank’s Leeds Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) through its Investing for Growth initiative.

Founded in 1992, Brecks employs 60 people and has a turnover of £10m. The company’s cereal products include snack bars and breakfast cereals and its meat-free products include sausages and burgers. The business has also developed a unique wood smoking process which enables it to target products specially made for the German, Swiss and Dutch markets where they are popular.

The £3m investment in the two new facilities, which are due to become operational in 2012, is expected to create 60 new jobs at Brecks, which supplies its cereal products to blue-chip global confectionery businesses and its meat-free products to household name retailers through the UK, Europe and US.

“We are one of the biggest, most productive operators in our two target sectors globally and, in terms of meat-free products, also supply the ‘meat’ or textured materials, we manufacture to other food companies,” points out James Hirst, founder and managing director of Brecks. “The investment in new facilities and technology will enable us to stay at the forefront of the industry. On the cereals side we will be developing cluster technology and, for meat-free, we will be expanding our product range and increasing capacity so as to maintain and grow our customer base.”

He continues: “People’s quest for a healthier lifestyle is driving our growth as they eat cereal bars rather than less healthy alternatives and meat-free products, where we manufacture all the ingredients, also offers medium to long-term environmental sustainability.”

Yorkshire Bank Leeds FSC Business partner, Michael Tew, who arranged the funding, says: “The Brecks Company is a huge Yorkshire success story, a business at the global forefront of its sector. We are pleased to be supporting them through our Investing for Growth initiative and creating more badly-needed jobs in the private sector.”

Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative enables businesses to take loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms to take advantage of quality growth opportunities. Businesses signing up to the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.

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Milk Link Starts £4 Million Cheese Expansion


UK dairy co-operative Milk Link has commenced work on the first phase of a new production facility at its Cornish Country Larder Trevarrian Creamery in North Cornwall. The £4m investment will substantially increase production of the Trevarrian Creamery’s award-winning soft cheeses to meet a growing demand from major retailers and food service providers nationwide.

Cornish Country Larder, a leading producer of British speciality soft cheeses, was acquired by Milk Link in January this year, as part of a deal to strengthen its position as the foremost producer of British cheeses.

The new development at Trevarrian will result in increased production and maturation capacity for the creamery’s comprehensive range of soft cheeses including Cornish Brie, Camembert and brands such as Gevrik soft goat’s cheese and St Endellion (a luxury Cornish Brie, made using Cornish double cream). It will feature ‘best in class’ processing technology to improve product quality and consistency whilst retaining all the authentic quality and taste of the cheeses for which Cornish Country Larder is famous.

The first phase of the Trevarrian development will be completed by the Autumn of 2011.

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Financial Restructuring at Findus Group


Findus Group, one of the leading frozen food businesses in Europe with sales over Eur1.3b, is reported to be renegotiating its covenants with its lenders in order to gain greater financial flexibility for funding expansion. Indeed, some industry sources suggest that Findus is attempting to assemble a Eur1 billion war-chest for funding future acquisitions.

The food group, which is controlled by private equity firm Lion Capital, holds market leading positions in frozen foods in France, Sweden, Norway, and Finland and a market leading position in frozen and chilled seafood in the UK. Findus Group operates across many categories including ready meals, seafood, vegetables and potatoes.

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Agrana to Invest €27.6m to Expand Russian Fruit Preparation Plant


Austrian group Agrana is to invest Eur27.6m to expand its Russian fruit preparation plant at Serpuchov over the next five years. Agrana is one of the leading producers of fruit juice concentrates in Europe, and the top global manufacturer of fruit preparations for the dairy industry.

The expansion programme will boost the factory’s production capacity by 63% from around 38,000 tonnes to 62,000 tonnes per year when the project has been completed, allowing Agrana to capitalise on the potential of the growing market for fruit preparations in Russia and the CIS states.

Agrana began operations at the Serpuchov site with two production lines in May 2005 and has tripled its volume of sales since then in the course of two earlier expansion phases. With 238 personnel and annual revenues of around Eur55m, this subsidiary currently has a 48% share of the regional fruit preparations market, which, in addition to Russia, also includes several other CIS states and a total of approximately 217 million consumers.

Fruit preparations are used primarily in the dairy products industry in the production of fruit yoghurts but also for cakes and pastries as well as ice cream. With a current estimated pro-capita consumption level of around 3.5 kg per year, the CIS yoghurt market offers considerable growth potential compared, for example, with Poland, where this figure is approx. 8.5 kg, or Western Europe, where consumption amounts to around 16.5 kg of yoghurt per year.

“Fruit yoghurts are becoming increasingly popular in Russia and the neighbouring states as prosperity and health consciousness are rising. This expansion phase in Serpuchov is key to our being able to profit from the forecast growth of around 50% in demand for fruit preparations from a current level of 82,000 tonnes to 124,000 tonnes per annum by 2014/15, and to consolidate our excellent market position as the quality, service and innovation leader,” says Johann Marihart, chief executive of Agrana Beteiligungs.

In addition to fruit preparations and fruit juice concentrate, Agrana is also a leading sugar company in Central and Eastern Europe. It is the leading supplier of specialised starch products in Europe, as well as being the largest producer of bioethanol in Austria and Hungary. In its 2009/10 business year, Agrana recorded revenues of approximately Eur2b. Agrana employs around 8,000 personnel at 52 facilities in 25 countries around the world.

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Tangerine Looks For Investment to Fund Further Expansion


Blackpool-based Tangerine Confectionery, the largest British manufacturer of sugar confectionery and branded popcorn in the UK, is reported to be seeking a new private equity investor to help fund further expansion. Since its formation in 2005, following the buy-out of Danish company Toms, Tangerine Confectionery has quadrupled in size through both organic growth and acquisition. Current turnover is over £150 million and Tangerine Confectionery employs over 1,300 people.

The company now has eight production facilities and a distribution depot and owns brands such as Butterkist popcorn, Barratt Sherbet Fountain, Henry Goode’s soft eating liquorice and Princess marshmallows. In addition, Tangerine manufactures own brand products for all of the UK’s leading high street food retailers. Within five years, it aims to be the largest independent manufacturer of confectionery in Europe. Tangerine is owned by private equity firm Growth Capital Partners.

Tangerine recently gained a top 20 place in the latest Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100. The league table ranks Britain’s 100 private equity-backed companies with the fastest-growing profits (EBITDA) over the last two years of available accounts.

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Major Expansion Planned by Russian Confectionery Manufacturer


As part of its expansion strategy to increase turnover to $100m by 2012, CJSC Landrin, one of the largest chocolate confectionery manufacturers in Russia, is to invest in the region of Eur20m in upgrading and expanding its production capacity.

The company will modernise its production facility in Saint Petersburg and install a new chocolate egg line at a total cost of about Eur9-10m. The investment programme will increase chocolate egg production by 40% to 50m units per annum.

CJSC Landrin also plans to construct a confectionery factory in Ukraine capable of manufacturing 50m eggs a year. This project will be phased over three years.

Igor Markitantov, head of CJSC Landrin, expects the company to increase turnover to about $80m this year and to over $100m in the future.

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Record First Half for Jameson Irish Whiskey


Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has reported that sales growth of its Jameson brand accelerated appreciably in the first six months of its current financial, with volumes growing by 16% to 3.17m cases, to produce one of its best performances ever. As it has done over the past decade, the sales value of Jameson grew faster than volume, achieving an impressive 18% growth. Indeed, premiumisation of the Irish whiskey brand with consistent value ahead of volume growth is a key objective of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.

“This six month period has proven to be one of the most dynamic and successful periods ever for Jameson, as it reached two key milestones on its journey to become one of the world’s top spirit brands. Globally, Jameson sold over three million cases in 2010, and one million of these are consumed in its most important export market, the USA,” comments Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.

Alexandre Ricard, chairman and chief executive of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.

He continues: “The progress of Jameson within the Pernod Ricard family of brands has been one of our company’s great success stories, growing from 466,000 cases when Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard in 1988, to 1 million in 1996, 2 million in 2006 and achieving sales of over 3 million in 2010.”

To satisfy the growing global demand for the brand, Irish Distillers is planning a major expansion of its warehousing and maturation capacity in 2010. This development will be located at Dungourney, County Cork, subject to the normal planning process which is already under way.

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Diamond Foods to Expand UK Kettle Foods Plant


US-based snacks group Diamond Foods is investing $10m to expand of its UK production facility in Norwich to meet increasing demand for Kettle Chips. The Kettle brand has experienced significant growth driven by the introduction of its new Kettle Ridge Crisp line, the expansion of its Kettle Chip sharing, single serve and multi-pack lines and an increased penetration in both the impulse channel and international markets.

“We are continuing to drive strong growth in a tough marketplace and see a lot of opportunity to sustain this trend,” says Jeremy Bradley, managing director of Kettle Foods Europe. “It’s a credit to the work of the Norwich team that Diamond is making this investment, which supports our plans for growth and will create a number of new jobs for the region.”

The expansion is anticipated to get underway in the spring and includes new packaging lines, an increase in multi-packing capability and enhancements to employee facilities.

Diamond Foods acquired the Kettle Foods businesses in both the US and the UK from private equity group Lion Capital for $615m in cash last year. In addition to Kettle Chips, Diamond Foods’ other brands include Emerald snack nuts, Pop Secret popcorn, and Diamond of California culinary and snack nuts.

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Hershey to Accelerate Growth in Europe


North American chocolate confectionery manufacturer Hershey is stepping up its growth in Europe as part of its strategy to reduce its reliance on its domestic market by developing internationally, especially in emerging markets such as Asia and Latin America. The UK’s second largest retailer, Asda, will commence selling Hershey products next year and the American confectionery group has now established a European subsidiary, located in London.

Last year, only 14% of Hershey’s total turnover of $5.3b was generated outside of North America. Hershey was linked to a possible bid for Cadbury, which would have helped to internationalise its business, but lost out to Kraft Foods.

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Bakery Expansion at Giles Foods


UK-based speciality breads, Danish pastries and tarts producer Giles Foods has expanded its bakery in Milton Keynes. Following investment of £3.5m, Giles Foods has doubled the size of the bakery and installed new plant and equipment, including a technologically advanced three-deck oven, the first of its kind in the UK.

In addition to expanding capacity, the investment project is designed to allow Giles Foods to improve product quality and increase efficiency and flexibility while reducing input costs and the company’s carbon footprint.

The site has been extended by 45,000 sq ft under the first phase of an expansion programme, with additional cold store and upgraded logistics and distribution facilities due to come on stream next year.

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Milkiland Moves Closer to Public Listing to Fund Expansion


Dairy company Milkiland, which operates in the Ukraine and Russia but is registered in the Netherlands, has commenced its public offering of over 22% of its shares as it prepared to list on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. “We expect that our integrated business model, our strong position in the Commonwealth of Independent States, one of the largest and fastest growing markets, as well as the high profitability of our operations, will make the public offering an interesting investment proposal for investors in Poland and abroad,” says Vyacheslav Rekov, chief executive of Milkiland.

Milkiland owns Milkiland-Ukraine, one of the largest dairy companies in the Ukraine with 16 production sites, as well as a 75% stake in Moscow-based Ostankinsky Molochny Combinat, one of the largest dairy enterprises in Russia.

Milkiland intends to reinforce its position in the CIS by focusing on its operations in Russia and Ukraine. The high fragmentation of the market and growth potential provide significant expansion opportunities for the company in both countries. Milkiland intends to participate in the process of market consolidation and to strengthen its position among the leading dairy producers.

The gross proceeds from the sale of new shares, estimated at about Eur72m, will be used primarily to carry out the group’s investment programme going forward and to finance acquisitions and new projects, including investment of Eur10m to upgrade the Okhtyrsky cheese plant in Ukraine to increase its production capacity by 7,000 tonnes, and Eur10-13m to modernise the whole milk products plant at Ostankino in Russia.

The total value of the group’s planned investments in 2011–2013 is estimated at Eur83–106m, including acquisitions. In 2007–2009 Milkiland invested a total of over $70m, including $41m for acquisition of the Ostankino plant in 2008.

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Arla Foods UK to Expand Cravendale Milk Capacity


Arla Foods UK, the British arm of Scandinavian dairy co-operative Arla Foods, is investing £6.7m in a new bottle blowmoulding machine to increase production of its Cravendale milk brand at its production facility at Stourton in Leeds. When operational in March 2011, the new blowmoulder, which will supplement two existing machines, will expand milk production capacity by about 50m litres.

“Cravendale has doubled in value in the last four years. Since its launch 12 years ago we have recently topped the 200 million litre milestone and expect value sales to exceed £166 m by the end of the year,” says Sam Dolan, Cravendale brand manager. “The expansion of the blowmoulding facility at Stourton and subsequent increase in production capacity supports our ambitious growth targets for Cravendale, where we plan to be a top 10 grocery brand by 2020.”

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Seabrook Crisps Plans New English Factory


Seabrook Crisps, the north of England-based snacks manufacturer, is planning to build a new factory in the south of the country as part of its five year development plan to expand its geographical coverage and to increase sales to £200m by 2022. The family run company, which has increased turnover by 130% to £28m in the last two years, currently holds 5.6% pf the UK crisps market but expects to claim a 10% share by 2015. The company is 65 years old.

According to John Tague, managing director of Seabrook Crisps, the proposed new snacks factory would be built by 2012 or 2013 in Northamptonshire. “We don’t know what the economy is going to be like in five years but, as things stand, there is no financial problem at Seabrook and we are very confident about expansion,” he states. “With our heritage and crinkle-cut style, we offer something different and retailers recognise there is space for another brand to make it big.”

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EBRD Supports Atlantic Grupa’s Expansion


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting regional corporate consolidation in south-eastern Europe and the development of strong local food and beverages brands with a Eur57.5m financing package for Atlantic Grupa, Croatia’s biggest food and healthcare company, to fund its expansion through the acquisition of Droga Kolinska, the largest branded food company in Slovenia. The Eru382m deal creates one of the largest branded food companies in the region.

In addition to its leading position in Croatia, Atlantic Grupa also has a strong presence in neighbouring countries after expanding through a successful series of acquisitions in south-eastern Europe, Germany and the UK. The company’s production is focused on sports food, personal care products, vitamin drinks and food supplements, while its distribution activities cover a wide range of leading international consumer brands.

Droga Kolinska has subsidiaries in seven countries and 14 production facilities throughout south-eastern Europe.

The EBRD is taking an 8.5% shareholding in Atlantic Grupa for Eur27.5m, making it the second largest shareholder after its founder Emil Tedeschi with 50.2%. The bank’s equity investment is a part of the financing package of Eur57.5m to Atlantic Grupa, which also includes a Eur30 million loan.

“The acquisition provides the opportunity to create an integrated company that should be a regional champion and competitive internationally based upon a diversified and branded product portfolio and good distribution platform,” says Lindsay Forbes, corporate equity director of EBRD. “The management of Atlantic Grupa has demonstrated its drive and capacity to integrate previous acquisitions in a manner which is beneficial to all parties.”

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Further Expansion at Johnstone’s Bakers


Independent Scottish company Johnstone’s Bakers has reported a 45% increase in turnover to £7.4m for the year ended November 30th 2009 and an improvement in pre-tax loss from £1.3m in 2008 to £40,000. Operating profit was £174,000.

Johnstone’s Bakers, which produces cake, cereal and biscuit bars and slices, including caramel shortcake, lemon cheesecake, orange chocolate tiffin, chocolate tiffin and Black Forest brownie, has more than trebled turnover since moving to its new factory in East Kilbride three years ago, following investment of £7m.

Having recently won contracts in the US, Australia and Russia to further extend its export business, Johnstrone’s Bakers is investing £400,000 to expand production capacity, including an enrobing machine and chocolate-making equipment, to cope with rising demand for its Connie’s Cakes range.

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Youinou to Invest €3.5m to Expand French Scallop Plant


French scallops producer Youinou is investing Eur3.5m to more than double production capacity and to upgrade its plant at Saint-Hernin in Brittany. The expansion programme will extend annual capacity from 14 million scallops to 35 million by 2011. Established in 1976, Youinou’s portfolio includes the Kercelt, Pecheur de Saveurs and Duocean brands.

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Moy Park Commences £10m Expansion


Having recently received planning permission, poultry processor Moy Park has commenced work on extending the capacity of its site at Ashbourne in Derbyshire, England, by 25%. The expansion and upgrading project involves investment of £10m.

Moy Park, which is Northern Ireland’s largest food manufacturer, recently consolidated its standing within the UK poultry market following its £30m acquisition of O’Kane Poultry. Also based in Northern Ireland, O’Kane Poultry had sales of £132m in 2009 and has the capacity to process 120,000 chickens and 5,000 turkeys a day.

The enlarged Moy Park, which is owned by Brazilian meat company Mafrig, employs 8,500 staff, 5,000 of them in Northern Ireland.

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AG Barr Sparkles as it Breaks £200 Million Sales Barrier


Having broken through the £200 million sales barrier and lifted profits by 20% while significantly outperforming the UK soft drinks market in its 2009 financial year, Glasgow-based AG Barr has now commenced a £10 million expansion programme at its Cumbernauld site in Scotland.

According to AG Barr, the UK soft drinks market, in contrast to the prior year, when volume declined by over 2%, increased by 1% in volume terms and by 2% in value terms in the 52 week period ending 23rd January 2010. Indeed, the difficult economic environment appears to have had limited impact on the overall market and carbonates in particular have continued to show good growth across the year.

“Consumers have continued to purchase a wide repertoire of soft drinks and have maintained a preference for established product groups that deliver both quality and value. Retailer branded soft drinks have not increased their share of the market, perhaps reflecting the competitive nature of pricing and promotion across the category as a whole,” explains Roger White, chief executive of AG Barr. “The soft drinks category has once again demonstrated its ability to deliver growth in volume and in value terms despite difficult macro economic conditions. The landscape remains competitive but consumers continue to respond well to both existing brands and products and to well executed innovation.”

Roger White, chief executive of AG Barr.

Market growth was driven by the strong performance of carbonates with all sectors performing strongly with the fastest growth coming from energy drinks. The water market recovered, registering 5% volume growth and 2% value growth during the year.

“Over the period we have seen excellent growth across our key brands as we look to appeal to more people, more often, in more areas across the market,” he adds.

Financial Performance

AG Barr outperformed the UK soft drink market to increase profit on ordinary activities before tax and exceptional items from £23.1 million to £27.9 million on turnover ahead by 18.7% to £201.4 million for the twelve months to January 30th 2010. Like for like sales, stripping out the impact of the Rubicon acquisition, increased by 10.6% as AG Barr’s core carbonate brands and still juice brands grew well ahead of the market. Indeed, the group’s flagship Irn-Bru brand increased revenue by over 5% with strong growth in England and Wales.

Having successfully integrated the Rubicon juice business over the course of its last financial year, AG Barr increased operating margins by 1.2%. Net debt was reduced by 29.5% during the year and stood at £22.1 million on January 30th last, reflecting continuing efforts to improve cash management and capital efficiency across the business.

“Our core business sales performance was excellent and the Rubicon brand has added a new dimension to our business. Our sales growth continues to be underpinned by substantial investment in our brands and infrastructure. In the last year we have maintained a tight control of all our costs allowing us to improve margins once again,” points out Roger White. “We continue to face an uncertain economic outlook with the additional challenge of substantial operational changes across 2010/11. However, looking forward we remain confident in our ability to deliver against our strategy.”

Broader Portfolio

AG Barr has been successfully broadening its product portfolio, which was traditionally dominated by carbonates, headed by the Irn-Bru brand. The company’s carbonates grew by 10.1% in value terms, well ahead of the overall market in 2009. The addition of Rubicon helped the group’s still drinks and water segment, which also includes the Strathmore brand, to contribute £17.2 million to turnover growth. Indeed, still drinks and water now account for 22.4% of group revenue, up from 16.5% in the previous year.

£10 Million Investment

The UK’s largest independent soft drinks producer has recently commenced an investment and restructuring programme, including a £10 million investment to expand production capacity at its Cumbernauld site in Scotland and the planned closure of its Mansfield site in England. This will entail moving between 60 and 70 million litres of production from Mansfield to Cumbernauld.

“The £10 million investment at the Cumbernauld facility is largely about replacing our filling capacity with higher output machinery which will allow us to consolidate all of the production from our Mansfield site into the Cumbernauld site,” says Roger White. “The investment is really about underpinning what we already do in Cumbernauld, but to make bigger, faster and more efficient production facilities around the site.”

Posted in FeaturesComments Off on AG Barr Sparkles as it Breaks £200 Million Sales Barrier




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