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Bank of Scotland backs food firm

Browns agrees bank facility to support growth

Browns Food GroupBrowns Food Group has agreed a £20 million facility from Bank of Scotland to support further growth following the acquisition of the Hall’s brand in 2013.

The company,  who brands also include Borders Gourmet, Tarbert Fine Foods and East Lothian based poultry supplier Fenton Barns, has reported a 6.3% rise in 2014 operating profits to £7.58 million on a 4.4% rise in turnover to £151.7m.

It is looking to invest in product innovation, as well as developing and extending its manufacturing and operational capabilities.

The company hopes to gain a stronger presence in a number of new export markets after reporting increased sales of 17% in Europe.

Wayne Godfrey, chief executive, said: “2014 has been an important year for the business in terms of driving organic growth and integrating the Halls brand further into our portfolio.  Although we have experienced market challenges, we have worked with our customers and suppliers to combat the margin pressures, and through better line efficiencies and controls, turnover and operating profit has continued to rise.

“We are excited to have extended into new markets and this will be a focus for the future.  We’ll continue to monitor our exporting programme as the demand continues to be felt in international markets.  Product innovation is key to our ongoing business strategy and we’ll be looking to put plans into action in the coming year as we aim to achieve further growth both at home and abroad.”

Stephen McNeil, relationship director, Glasgow & West of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, said: “It is great to see Browns Food Group going from strength to strength and we are excited to be supporting the business’s management team as it looks to further its ambitious plans.

“Innovation is high on the agenda for Scottish food and drink businesses according to our fourth annual Bank of Scotland report, Fresh Opportunity & Growth, and with nearly two thirds of producers planning to achieve growth by innovating new products, Browns is testimony to this as a key driver for this sector.

“Scottish food and drink businesses, like Browns are also positioning themselves for further growth in export markets, with just under three quarters of businesses telling Bank of Scotland they are currently capitalising on the Scottish heritage of their products.”

Photo: Alan Hill (FD, Browns), Wayne Godfrey (MD, Browns), Stephen McNeil (relationship manager Bank of Scotland).

 

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