North East-based Quorn announces £40m investment to fuel further expansion

The Teesside business, which had record growth in 2014, aims to use the funds for R&D and to penetrate new international markets

Simon Dewhurst Photography Kevin Brennan, Chief Executive of Quorn Foods, is pictured at the company's premises in Stokesley
Kevin Brennan, Chief Executive of Quorn Foods, is pictured at the company's premises in Stokesley

Teesside meat free food manufacturers Quorn have announced a £40m investment drive to fuel further growth.

The firm reported an 8% growth to £14.6m sales over January at a time when most food manufacturers saw flat sales and is planning to expand into at least one new international market in 2015.

Now the firm, which currently exports its meat alternative products to 15 international markets, is looking to build on the record sales growth, using the hefty investment over the next 12 months to carry it into new markets.

This follows successful launches in Germany, Denmark and Finland in October 2014, with Quorn experiencing surging sales growth in all of the international markets it currently operates in as it pursues ambitions to become a $1bn dollar business in the next ten years.

The vegetarian food specialists, headquartered in Stokesley with a production plant in Billingham, made the announcement as it is called on the Government to protect and enhance existing R&D and innovation tax breaks in next week’s Budget.

The company cites existing tax breaks as a significant factor behind its decision to pursue such a rapid programme of expansion and is urging the Government to take measures to protect and build on these in the forthcoming Budget, to help encourage further growth and investment.

Kevin Brennan, chief executive of Quorn Foods, said: “Our £40m investment over the next 12 months is a real statement of intent, as we pursue our ambition to transform Quorn into a $1bn business, four to five times its current size.

“All of the 15 markets we directly export to are performing extremely well, with sales of Quorn likely to double in Germany, Finland and Denmark over the next 12 months, and plans to expand into at least one new international market in 2015 as we look to build on current momentum.”

Earlier this week WhiteWave Foods, US owners of the Alpro brand, were said to have held preliminary discussions with Exponent Private Equity, the owners of Quorn Foods, to discuss a potential sale of the business.

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