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Food factory adds to the success of its US owners

PUBLISHED: 11:38 24 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:38 24 August 2014

David Matwij, operations manager at Linda McCartney meat-free food plant, who has overseen a startling financial turnaround and is preparing to open a new dessert production area. 
PHOTO: IAN BURT
COPY:Chris Hill
FOR:EDP Business
EDP pics © 2009
(01603)772434

David Matwij, operations manager at Linda McCartney meat-free food plant, who has overseen a startling financial turnaround and is preparing to open a new dessert production area. PHOTO: IAN BURT COPY:Chris Hill FOR:EDP Business EDP pics © 2009 (01603)772434

Archant © 2009

The growing success of a Fakenham food factory has capped off a profitable year for its American owners.

Hain Celestial Group, the mother company of Hains Daniels which runs the Linda McCartney Foods factory in the town, has recorded its highest quarterly and financial year net sales in the company’s history.

Bosses said double-digit growth across domestic and United Kingdom operations helped the firm post record sales for the fourteenth straight quarter – and that brands including the Linda McCartney meat-free products contributed to the success.

The record boost comes less than a year after the company invested £20m into its Holt Road factory, and said it would be creating 350 new jobs after it struck a multi-million-pound deal with Sainsbury’s to launch a new range of chilled puddings.

Chief executive Irwin Simon said the business continued to benefit from strong growth trends in the organic and natural, “better-for-you” segment of its packaged goods.

He said: “We completed our fiscal year with record net sales by delivering solid performance across brands and geographies, and I am pleased with the results.

“Our US business continued to generate strong results as momentum for organic and natural products builds across various channels of distribution.

“Our UK business posted record sales with increased profit contribution and our Rest of World segment delivered high single digit sales growth.”

Hain Celestial’s worldwide net sales for the financial year were $583m (£352m), an increase of 26pc compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, its UK net sales were $200m (£120.6m), signalling a 65.5pc increase.

In addition to Linda McCartney, the company said its other food brands, including Ella’s Kitchen, Gale’s, SunRipe, Hartley’s and Sun-Pat, had also made a significant contribution to sales.

The firm said the top-line growth also resulted from the sales of the Tilda and Rudi’s Organic Bakery brands acquired earlier this year.

Mr Simon added the company now had a solid foundation to “capitalise on the tremendous opportunities in front of us”.

Do you have a business success story? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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