Chinese noodle success firm to create up to 300 more jobs

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A YORKSHIRE food company plans to create up to 300 jobs as it considers making a string of acquisitions.

Symington’s has already created 50 jobs by opening a noodle factory in Leeds, and David Salkeld, the company’s chief executive, plans to hire a lot more people on the site.

The factory in Hunslet, near Leeds, has taken on production work which had previously been carried out in two Chinese factories.

The noodles had been produced at sites in Guangzhou province, near Hong Kong, and one in Hangzhou, which is inland from Shanghai.

Symington’s has taken a long-term lease on Sprint 70, in Old Run Road. Symington’s “in-sourced” the packing of noodle pots into Leeds from China in 2008. Mr Salkeld said Hunslet was the ideal place for the new noodle factory.

He added: “Our Chinese supplier indicated that they intended to exit noodle production.

“We’re a Leeds-based business and we’ve got fantastic people who are willing to learn and take on new skills.

“We took a view that Leeds is our heart, and the best place to invest again.”

Altogether, Symington’s has 850 employees in Leeds and Bradford, after adding 120 staff last year. The site in Hunslet is close to Symington’s other site in Beeston, which makes it easier to share facilities and resources.

Mr Salkeld added: “This gives us space for expansion which we didn’t have before. We can install more production lines. This space will be full in the next few years.

“There could be another 200 to 300 jobs created on this site, by the time we’ve filled it up with new production.

“The company’s turnover this year will be around £220m, in the year ending February 2014, and then I expect it to be £240m to £250m in the next year. The momentum behind the business is continuing.”

Earlier this year, Symington’s

revealed it was entering the food industry in Australia after striking a deal with consumer giant Unilever.

In its first major international venture, the Leeds business has licensed three brands, including Chicken Tonight, in Australia and New Zealand.

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