Food manufacturer Prima Cheese Ltd has increased its turnover, taken on more staff and set its sights on new export markets, with the support of Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance.
The family-owned firm, founded in 1997, specialises in blending cheese to make pizza toppings and burger slices. With a staff of 60 based in Seaham, County Durham, it supplies cheese products to wholesale food and catering businesses across the UK, as well as Europe and the rest of the world.
Three years ago the company started to export to the EU and is now trading with countries further afield, including Peru, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Taiwan and Singapore.
The firm has hired 13 new staff in the last 12 months, across the accounts, production and export teams. It is also looking to extend its current premises to increase production capacity and it is expecting to create more new jobs as a result. With exporting helping to boost profits, Prima Cheese’s turnover was £25m last year. Over the next year, it hopes to hit £35m.
Part of the company’s success has been due to a £3m invoice finance deal with Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance.
This allows it to borrow against client invoices, providing a flexible form of funding that can grow with the business, and, in particular it has helped it overcome fluctuations in raw material prices.
Financial director of Prima Cheese Andy Davis said: “The business has been able to thrive in the last three years, with exports really helping to push us forward. We’ve seen impressive year-on-year growth, and are on target to deliver a revenue of £35m this year.
“Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance has been an important partner and a fantastic support during this time.
“It has recognised the profitability of the business and been able to provide us with flexible funding that means that when we see new opportunities we can chase them.
“We’re excited about being able to take the business into new export markets, and invest in our staff and premises.
Graeme Waddell, client manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, said: “Prima Cheese is a great manufacturing business and one we are pleased to support.
“The firm has focused on developing quality products and delivering high levels of customer service.
“It is a great example of the kind of manufacturing business we are committed to supporting.”