The meat-free products manufacturer is also calling on the government to protect and enhance existing research & development (R&D) and innovation tax breaks in next week’s Budget to strengthen such investments.
The company cited existing tax breaks as a significant factor behind its decision to pursue its rapid growth programme. It is urging the government to take measures to safeguard and build on these in the forthcoming Budget, to help encourage further growth and investment.
In particular, The Patent Box, which allowed corporations to a pay a lower rate of tax on profits generated from UK-owned intellectual property, had been a catalyst for international expansion, Quorn said.
New product creation
The company was planning to invest a further £3M over 2015 in R&D, and had benefitted from R&D Relief. The facility had fuelled the company’s biggest ever programme of new product creation, with 30 products for UK and international markets being developed at its Stokesley headquarters, Quorn claimed.
These include new gluten-free and vegan lines, both of which are set for launch later this year, building on intense consumer interest in the ‘free from’ category.
“Our £40M investment over the next 12 months is a real statement of intent, as we pursue our ambition to transform Quorn into a $1bn businesss [in the next 10 years], four to five times its current size,” said company ceo Kevin Brennan.
‘Sales likely to double’
“All of the 15 markets we directly export to are performing extremely well, with sales of Quorn likely to double in Germany, Finland and Denmark over the next 12 months, and plans to expand into at least one new international market in 2015 as we look to build on current momentum.
The firm launched into Germany, Denmark and Holland in October 2014.
“There’s no doubt that government policy around R&D Relief and The Patent Box is helping to fuel our growth, and that of other innovative companies,” said Brennan.
- In 2014, total sales hit £150M for the first time in the company’s 30 year history
- International volume growth rose by 16% year-on-year
- The company ended 2014 with 30% more distribution in the US following the creation of a dedicated stateside office, with like-for-like sales growing by 48% in the final quarter
- In Germany a successful test has led to a national roll out with distribution wins in major retailers Edeka and Tegut in recent months
- Like-for-like sales in Switzerland grew by 8.4% over 2014
- The brand attracted 1.86M new customers in the past 12 months
“The next Budget offers the perfect opportunity for the Chancellor [George Osborne] to show his commitment to businesses such as ours and take steps to protect and enhance tax relief measures.”
The North Yorkshire based food manufacturer, which exports its meat alternative products to 15 international markets, aims to expand into at least one new international market in 2015, with a further two under consideration.
The latest investment announcement follows disclosure of a £30M investment at its Billingham plant near Middlesbrough, which will help it double its production capacity from June onwards, creating 400 jobs.That development is close to completion.