The investment from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking will be used to buy new machinery in a bid to grow capacity on site by 40% for the manufacturer’s key trading periods, including Easter and Christmas.
Walkers said the funding would boost its annual turnover by an additional £2m in the next 12 months and planned to expand its already 300-strong team to help support the company’s growth. Money will also be spent on new product development, including research into assorted chocolate boxes.
Attract new customers
Commenting on the investment, finance director Neil Rose said: “It also stands us in great stead to attract new customers and plan more efficiently for Christmas, which is always our biggest trading period. We’ll continue working with Lloyds Bank throughout the year to ensure that this year’s festive season is another success for our business.”
Established in 1977, Walkers Chocolates manufactures own-label chocolate products for some of the UK’s biggest retailers, including Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons, Tesco and Aldi, as well as clients in 15 countries. The business also sells chocolate under its own brands, such as Ashley’s, Harrington’s and Marcheurs.
Worth £1.1bn to the economy
Lloyds Bank associate director Rebecca Blaymires added: “Chocolate remains one of the UK’s favourite treats and is worth £1.1bn to the national economy. The Midlands is home to some of the country’s most renowned chocolate makers and we’re standing by the side of businesses like Walkers Chocolates to help them invest in their growth.
“This will ensure that confectionary continues to be a key part of the region’s success story and is an example of our commitment to helping Britain prosper. As part of this, we’ve pledged to lend up to £2.5bn to companies across the Midlands over the next 12 months.”
Meanwhile, St Pierre Group, recently rebranded from Carrs Foods, has secured a £6.7m investment from BGF and Lloyds bank in a bid to accelerate international growth.