Green light for Mallusk expansion as Henderson Group continues to grow

Henderson Group's John Agnew and Geoffrey Agnew with Spar International managing director Tobias Wasmuht at the opening of latest phase of the company's £30m redevelopment at Mallusk last September
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE Henderson Group has been given the green light to expand is Mallusk headquarters as part of its latest £20 million expansion.

The planning committee at Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council granted permission for its John Henderson (Mallusk) Ltd subsidiary to build a new storage and distribution warehouse, ancillary office and staff welfare accommodation on the site of its current regional distribution centre.

And it coincides with the food giant revealing that its turnover has passed the three quarters of a billion pound mark, continuing a phase of unbroken growth extending nearly two decades.

Figures filed at Companies House show that the family-owned Henderson holding company's turnover rose by more than 8 per cent to £759 million, which in turn garnered a profit of just over £20 million.

The group, which is made up of four divisions - food-service, wholesale, retail and property - operates 85 Spar and EuroSpar stores across Northern Ireland and supplies to a further 372 throughout its independently-owned store network.

With a workforce in excess of 3,400, the company credits continued investment in all divisions for its successful employment growth and increased job opportunities.

Henderson Food-service, which supplies locally sourced food to hotels, hospitals, schools and restaurants across Ireland, is one of Deloitte's Best Managed Companies, while all group companies are recognised as Investors in People

Last year a record 32 new Spar, Eurospar and Vivo stores were opened, and it is spending £2m to open its latest Spar store in the Sunnyside Street area of South Belfast. It is also opening its 60th Eurospar this month in Lisburn.

The Henderson parent company, led by brothers Geoff and Martin Agnew, operates a number of subsidiaries including Henderson Group Property, The Streat Franchising, Henderson Technology and property management company John (Henderson) Mallusk.

In September the managing director of Spar International, Tobias Wasmuht, formally opened a new £12.5m warehouse designed to streamline logistics at the company.

The 180,000 sq ft warehouse at Henderson's Hydepark headquarters in Mallusk, built by the Fermanagh-based Tracey Brothers, incorporates cutting-edge design from across the Spar International network.

Capable of handling 100,000 tonnes of goods a year, the facility will streamline the service to 447 independent and company-owned stores.

Following the latest expansion approval, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council planning committee chair Philip Brett said: “This is great news for Mallusk, where the Henderson Group has been an integral part for many years.

"These improvements form an important part of the ongoing £20 million redevelopment investment by Henderson Group and will ensure further construction jobs in the Borough, which will strengthen our economic position.”

He also praised the speed and efficiency with which the Council's planners processed the application.

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