Expansion plans put into action for Tyneside tea firm Ringtons after heady year

As Ringtons reports turnover of more than £50m, the firm has confirmed a £3m expansion at its Balliol Business Park factory

Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd The Ringtons Operational Directors, (left to right) Colin Smith Managing Director of Production Division, Jon Malton Managing Director of the Brand Division, Simon Smith, CEO and Nigel Smith, Chair
The Ringtons Operational Directors, (left to right) Colin Smith Managing Director of Production Division, Jon Malton Managing Director of the Brand Division, Simon Smith, CEO and Nigel Smith, Chair

Family tea firm Ringtons is to double its factory capacity after turning over more than £50m for the first time in its 108-year history.

The Newcastle-headquartered business is investing more than £3m into expansion of its Longbenton facility, construction of which is due to be completed in October.

Meanwhile, the historic firm has also unveiled ambitious growth plans for its franchise business as it targets further growth on the south coast of England.

The announcements come as the firm posts a 6% revenue rise to £50.1m for the year ended June 30 2014 and pre-tax trading profits of £3.8m.

The multi-million pound expansion at Ringtons’ factory at Balliol Business Park, being carried out by Dunston-based Meldrum Construction, forms part of a £10m reinvestment made by the company over a three year period.

During that time headcount at the family business – which produces enough tea each week for 60m cups – has grown by 55 to 515, and at least 10 new jobs are set to be made at the Balliol factory by the end of this year.

The factory was the first to be constructed on the business park back in 1995 after Ringtons outgrew its original facility, adjacent to the firm’s headquarters in Heaton.

The firm originally took up around 75,000sqft, but ensured there was space for future expansion, which is now vital as the firm seeks to meet growing consumer demand.

Managing director of the production division, Colin Smith, said: “We are half way through our £3m expansion at the Ringtons factory at Balliol Park in North Tyneside which will see the building almost double in size.

“The work will not only give additional production and warehouse space for an ever growing tea business, but it will allow for the relocation and development of our coffee roasting and processing facility. Facilities and office areas for the team at the factory will also be improved through the expansion at Balliol.”

The business has also committed itself to developing its franchise business all along the south coast.

The company operates five established franchise vans along the south coast and will add six new ones this year in Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Jon Malton, managing director of the brand division has confirmed aims to establish a further 30 franchisees over the next five years.

Nigel Smith Group Chairman added: “These results have given us the confidence to continue to invest a substantial part of our profits in developing business opportunities further.

“These results have been achieved due to our loyal and focused workforce who are exceptional.

“Because we are a 100-year-old family business we are also able to benefit from the ability to plan long-term.”

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