Samworth Brothers is boosting capacity in two factories in response to increased demand, creating at least 150 new jobs over the next two years, according to chief executive Brian Stein.
“We are building two extensions to two sites, increasing capacity by 10-20% in each,” said Stein. When complete, the two sites would have the capacity to generate revenue of up to £120M, he said. In its past full year of operation, Samworth Brothers, which makes a range of other items such as meat products and Ginsters pasties, chalked up £570M in sales.
One of the sites, in Melton Mowbray, makes pre-packed sandwiches for Waitrose. Stein said this business had grown substantially since the retailer announced its launch into supplying motorway service stations, its purchase of 13 Co-operative Group stores and its plans to open nine more stores this year.
The second site in Beaumont Leys, Leicester, makes pork pies. Expansion plans for this site had been put into motion to ensure Samworth Brothers met the usual Christmas surge in demand for these products.
“We were nervous about meeting our capacity plans,” said Stein. “Pork pie production typically will double over a number of days during Christmas.” He said he expected both extensions to be completed by November, in time for the festive period.
Stein said Samworth Brothers had achieved consistent sales growth of at least 10% per year for the past 13 years. Growth had slowed last year as the recession loomed, but had since picked up again, he said. However, he attributed some of that revival to the company picking up business from others as retailers consolidated their supply bases.
The extensions follow the opening of a production facility - also in Leicester - in September 2008 dedicated to Marks & Spencer (M&S) after Samworth Brothers had secured a major contract with the retailer. The factory makes chilled and ambient desserts and despatched its new cup cake range for M&S six weeks ago.