Caterer Mount Charles gobbles up another £10m in sales

Profits double to nearly £1m as services specialist maintains its push into the Republic marketplace

Mount Charles
In November Mount Charles opened the ‘Hawker’ eaterie at Belfast International Airport, a new Asian street food concept (@Matt Mackey)

The parent company of catering giant Mount Charles gobbled up more than £10 million in additional sales last year as it also doubled its pre-tax profits.

Corporate Catering Management Ltd works across the fields of retail and contract catering, cleaning, event food and drinks, security services, pest control, washroom and janitorial supplies, and vending.

Accounts for the year to September 2023, newly published at Companies House, show that turnover rose from £34.2 million to £44.9 million (of which £37.4m was garnered in the UK and the other £7.5m in the Republic).

And while the company’s running costs also soared, it still revealed a pre-tax profit of £988,395, compared to £548,270 the year before, and banked £830,000 on its bottom line, which the directors said was “a strong and solid performance”.

The shareholders’ funds now total more than £7.5 million.

In notes accompanying the accounts the directors said: “We have seen significant challenges relating to inflation, specifically impacting on food, wage, utility and other operating costs, which we sought to mitigate through improving efficiencies.

Trevor Annon, chairman and founder of Mount Charles
Trevor Annon, chairman and founder of Mount Charles Trevor Annon, chairman and founder of Mount Charles

“The catering and cleaning industries within the UK remain highly competitive, but we remain focuses on cost control and driving organisational efficiency and improvements.”

They add: “Our family-owned culture, commitment to excellent in service, and strong management team are regarded as a major strength in the development of the business.”

The two principal directors of the business are Trevor Annon (78), now group chairman, and his son Gavin (39), who is chief strategy officer at Mount Charles Group and also currently serves as president of Belfast Chamber of Commerce.

The payroll at the holding company rose by more than 250 people in 2023 from 2,199 to 2,463 (albeit administrative staff numbers fell from 69 to 60).

This in turn pushed the company’s overall wages bill from £17.5m to £22.5m. The directors were paid £181,000.

Mount Charles has almost 35 years’ experience in the delivery of vital facilities management services to a range of customers within both the public and private sectors.

Since its 2023 books closed, Mount Charles has continued its relentless pursuit of business opportunities in the Republic.

In October it signed a three-year contract with Translink to provide cleaning services across its train fleet at eight regional hubs, with employees also deployed on Enterprise services between Lanyon Station and Dublin’s Connolly Station.

And its cleaning division is now operating at more than 600 sites across Ireland in sectors including healthcare, education and leisure.

Director Gavin Annon said: “The Republic of Ireland marketplace remains a key target for us and continuing to grow our market share from our Dublin base is a key priority.”

In November Mount Charles launched its latest culinary venture at Belfast International Airport by opening ‘Hawker’, a new Asian street food concept showcasing a high-end menu inspired by the rich heritage of Asian cuisine.