Ready Egg Products acquires Skea in major expansion of Fermanagh food group

The Skea Egg factory located just outside Donaghmore in Co Tyrone.

FERMANAGH food manufacturer Ready Egg Products has acquired Co Tyrone-based Skea Eggs in a move that has effectively doubled the size of the business overnight.

Charles Crawford's company, which supplies the food manufacturing industry, is one of the biggest egg processors of its kind in the UK.

Alongside its headquarters outside Lisnaskea, it owns a processing plant in England.

Donaghmore-based Skea Eggs, founded in the 1970s by Matthew Hayes, supplies around 9.5 million eggs per week to major supermarket chains including M&S and Sainsbury's.

The value of the deal, which was finalised last week, has not been disclosed, but takes the Ready Eggs' workforce from 160 to around 300 people.

Understood to have been in the making for a considerable period, the terms of the deal will see Skea Eggs continue to trade under its own brand, while members of the Hayes family will remain involved in the daily running of the business.

In a statement confirming the acquisition, a spokesperson for Ready Eggs Products said the company was “delighted” to welcome Skea Egg Farms into its group, a move they said would further diversify the Fermanagh business.

“Ready Eggs has diversified and invested in state of the art facilities producing a range of egg products including liquid egg, hard boiled, scrambled and other products with facilities in Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

“Ready Eggs have recently completed work on the only egg powder plant in the UK; a new product range that will soon be available.

“The acquisition of Skea Egg Farms Ltd will allow for further diversification in the group, cementing its position as a leading player in the market.

“Ready Eggs and Skea are looking forward to building on the success of two local, family run businesses with the synergies, values and decades of combined experience of the teams ensuring the future success of the business.”

Despite a challenging 2020, during which Ready Egg Products suffered a large fire at its Lisnaskea premises and saw revenues slide 10 per cent to £57.4 million, the Fermanagh company remained highly profitable.

The most recent set of accounts published by Companies House show it recorded a pre-tax profit of £8.3 million for the 12 months ending December 31 2020.

Skea Eggs reported a six per cent drop to its turnover over the same period, registering £64.4 million for 2020.

But again, the latest financial report posted by the Tyrone firm show it remained in healthy shape, with a pre-tax profit of £2.9m.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access