Belfast tea maker Punjana brews up surge in annual profits
BELFAST tea maker Punjana has reported a 79 per cent upsurge in profits last year, posting £730,684 before tax.
The figures for the 12 months to August 2015 follow a small rise in turnover to £9.48 million against £9.37m for the previous year.
The family-run company distributes tea throughout Ireland and Britain under the Punjana and Thompson Family Teas brands.
Directors said they considered the annual results to be "satisfactory".
However, in their strategic report filed with accounts at Companies House in Belfast, they said they were "mindful of current economic conditions, but in particular the high price of raw teas, effected by a weakened pound/dollar position and reduced Kenyan crops result from adverse weather conditions".
Punjana is operated by the Thompson family and has been in business since the 1890s.
The firm's staff numbers reduced slightly to 45 over the year but the wage bill increased to £1.45m.
Directors salaries and other benefits amounted to £301,963 with the highest paid receiving £111,076.
Directors recommended total dividends of £416,669 be paid over the year.
The company was originally founded by Robert Thompson in 1896 when he was made a parter in McArthur and Willis, tea importers and blenders.
His sons carried on the firm and created the Punjana brand.
The company operates from a purpose-built factory in east Belfast which opened in 1996.
The facility can turn out 2,000 tea bags every minute while the company claims 100,000 cups of its tea are drank every hour.
In recent years, the firm has embraced the Great Taste Awards and received numerous accolades for the quality of its produce.
Last year its original Punjana teabags, Thompson's Perfect Pyramids and Thompson's Decaffeinated Tea Bags each received one gold star in the awards.