Ice cream maker Hill Station should move into profit this year as it consolidates all of its production into one large facility at Cwmbran, South Wales, it predicted.
The company, which was set up by former investment bankers Charles and Gina Hall in the 1990s, became the UK's third-largest ice cream business by value in December after a £5.6m reverse takeover deal to acquire rivals Loseley Dairy Ice Cream and Granelli McDermott.
Production has since been transferred from Granelli's Tattenhall factory to Loseley's hi-tech 7,432m2 site at Cwmbran, with the transfer of production from Hill Station's original plant in Calne, Wiltshire to Cwmbran to follow by the end of March, said group md Charles Hall.
"We're still in consultation with staff over the future of the other Granelli plant in Cheadle," he added. "We can't pre-empt the consultation [which ends on February 13], but we would like to have integrated the activities of all three plants into Cwmbran by the end of July."
The acquisitions have transformed Hill Station from a niche, £1m turnover manufacturer of super premium branded tubs into a £16m turnover company with a portfolio comprising branded and own-label products, said Hall.
"Cwmbran is vastly under-utilised, with six production lines that only use up half of the available space. However, we've got to ensure we maintain consistency when we're transferring own-label products."