Leeds-based Symington’s sees sales rise as it prepares to launch new brands

John Power MBE
John Power MBE
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THE YORKSHIRE-based food and snack manufacturer Symington’s saw its sales rise last year, after its performance was boosted by a marketing campaign and investment in new products.

Symington’s financial accounts for the year ended August 26 2018, report EBITDA of £10.2million, which is a 12.8 per cent increase year-on-year.

The Leeds-based company said that significant brand investment in its Mug Shot and Naked products, along with a strong commitment to innovation, has helped to increase sales.

The company, which employs around 700 people, is also the owner of the Chicken Tonight, Ragu and free-from brand ilumi.

It also produces a range of retailer brand products for all the major UK grocers, convenience stores and food service customers.

John Power, the chief executive at Symington’s, commented today: “We’ve continued with the strong growth delivered in the second half of 2017, with investment in new product development and marketing helping to drive our strong sales growth this year.

He added: “Mug Shot hit TV screens in its first TV ad campaign ever and Naked, one of the most innovative brands in the category, grew in value by 36 per cent year-on-year.”

Mr Power said the firm continued to provide leadership in its sector.

He added: “We have continued to lead both the innovation and health agendas in the categories we operate in. In the last financial year we removed 36 tonnes of salt from Naked and Mug Shot products, introduced traffic light Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) for transparency and improved nutritionals on a range of products.

“I’m proud of the team’s achievements this year and the impressive results that have been delivered in a competitive market.

“Looking forward, we have exciting plans for growth, including launching two new brands in the UK and launching the Naked brand in the US. Our innovation pipeline is very strong and we continue to grow key retail partnerships.”

Symington’s also has a strong commitment to its corporate social responsibility strategy. It has measures in place to increase the recyclability of its packaging and reduce the amount of manufacturing waste it produces.

It also aims to give something back to the local community. The business recently launched a partnership with St George’s Crypt, a local charity which supports homeless people in Leeds, providing hot meals and soups.

Based in Leeds, the company operates from four sites.

Three of these sites are in West Yorkshire and it also has a wet meals and soups facility in Consett, Durham.

It was established in 1827 by William Symington initially supplying tea, coffee and groceries before the founder invented instant soup and expanded into other dried foods.

The soup was used by British troops in the Crimean war of the 1850s. Supplies of Symington’s soup were also taken to the Antarctic on Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.