Sales soar at Finnebrogue as food firm's stellar growth continues

Denis Lynn, chairman and majority shareholder at Finnebrogue owners Lynn's Country Foods, which has reported a 33 per cent uplift in sales
Gary McDonald Busness Editor

VENISON producer Finnebrogue has enjoyed a massive uplift in sales in a year when it opened a new £25 million food processing plant on its sprawling estate near Downpatrick, and also beefed up its staff numbers.

Lynn's Country Foods, which has been making artisan food for more than two decades, saw revenues soar by a third from £45.8 million to £61.1 million in the 12 months to last September.

Its net assets also jumped from £13.3m to £15.1m over the period, though its retained profit slipped back slightly to £3.2m.

The company was founded in 1996 by Denis Lynn (its majority shareholder and now chairman), who converted the historic Finnebrogue estate to deer production. He had bought the estate in 1991 and initially ran it as a beef farm.

Figures filed at Companies House show that Lynn's Country Foods now employs 324 staff (up from 303 the previous year).

That means the firm's wages bill jumped from £7.6m to £8.8m, and its highest paid director had a salary package of just over £338,000.

In a report accompanying the results, the directors said both the level of business and the financial position of the company were considered satisfactory.

"We expect that the current level of activity will be sustained for the foreseeable future," they add.

Finnebrogue's devotion to quality and innovation has helped make it one of Northern Ireland's fastest growing businesses, and it is now a major player in the UK food industry, supplying into most of the major supermarket chains.

The most recent expansion to its manufacturing facility saw it add a dry goods storage facility, chilled storage, preparation, mixing area, an engineer's workshop, a plant room plus staff and office facilities.

Earlier this year Mr Lynn was among a number of business leaders honoured at the annual Institute of Directors Northern Ireland's Director of the Year Awards when he was recognised for innovation.

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