Symington's has doubled its turnover to about £90m in the three years since its Hermes Private Equity-backed buyout in 2007 and has now received funding from Yorkshire Bank, management shareholders and the private equity fund (now managed by Bridgepoint) to help fund product development and bolster its presence in the gravy sector.
It launched a gravy range under the Aunt Bessie's brand in October and half the investment will be used to build a 42,000 sq ft unit in Beeston, Leeds, that will expand manufacturing of the line. Building will begin at the beginning of 2011, creating 40 new jobs and tapping the UK's £139m gravy market, the company said. "The move fits perfectly with our current range of products and offers us a great opportunity for further development under a very strong brand," said chief executive David Salkeld.
Chairman Edwin Booth added: "Symington's is a major employer in the heart of Leeds. This investment, allied to a continuing commitment to colleague training and upskilling, will ensure its fantastic people benefit from these strong foundations for growth."
Symington's brought more than 230 new products to the market in the past year and said the rest of the capital would focus on NPD and the redevelopment of current lines such as soups, pasta and sauce.