Symington's to create 40 new jobs

By Ben Bouckley and Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Stock market Factory

Salkeld: £10m investment
Salkeld: £10m investment
Symington's will create up to 40 new jobs next year as it opens a new factory in Leeds and evaluates options for a second new facility.

The firm, which currently operates two factories in Bradford and a third site at Dartmouth Way, Leeds, has just secured £10m from Yorkshire Bank, management shareholders and its private equity backers Bridgepoint to fund its expansion plans.

The new factory will enable the firm to bring the production of gravy granules under the Aunt Bessie's brand in-house, HR boss Michelle Wood told "We have been using a contract manufacturer but the plan is to bring production in-house when the new site - a unit we're converting near our existing site - is up and running next year."

Bosses were also looking at several other units in the Leeds area for factory number five, although no decision had yet been taken, said Wood.

The firm, which has been expanding rapidly since the arrival of a new management team in 2007, was confident of sustaining its growth through a mixture of organic growth and acquisitions, she added. "We're consolidating over the next 12 months or so but after that we'll be back on the acquisition trail."

Longer term, bosses were also considering a stock market flotation, she said.

£90m turnover

Chief executive David Salkeld (pictured) added: “Since the management buy-in in September 2007 the business has doubled in size to around £90m turnover. This growth is planned to continue with the support of this investment and our continued programme of innovative product development.”

Symington’s makes a wide range of own-label and branded products under brands including Ainsley Harriott (risotto, couscous, soup), James Martin (home baking), Golden Wonder (pasta, noodles), Granose (vegetarian products), Crosse & Blackwell (soup, pasta, noodles) and Symington's (soup).

The firm was sold to new management team led by former Grampian boss David Salkeld and ex-Arla Foods director Henrik Pade in 2007 with financial backing from private equity fund Hermes Private Equity (which is now managed by a division of Bridgepoint).

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