Princes completes £40m investment in soft drinks site

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Food and drink group Princes has completed a £40m major redevelopment project at its Yorkshire soft drinks factory.

The investment has seen Princes introduce a series of improvements to the 25-acre Bradford site, which includes over 340,000 sq ft of new warehouse and production facilities to increase capacity.

Work began on the Bradford site, which employs over 300 people and produces more than 400 million bottles of fruit squash and carbonated soft drinks every year, in autumn 2012.

A new warehouse was erected on site which now houses all of the soft drinks produced before they are sent to supermarkets, convenience stores and wholesalers across the country, reducing the risk of transportation damage to products and meaning fewer trucks on public roads in the local community.

Princes has also invested in a new central syrup manufacturing facility which blends ingredients for the squash and carbonated drinks produced at the site, along with a new effluent treatment plant.

Ruth Simpson, corporate relations director at Princes, said: “This investment reflects Princes’ commitment to ensuring all of our sites make efficient use of the resources available and reduce waste. It ensures that the Bradford site maintains its status as one of the leading soft drinks production sites in the UK.”

According to it latest accounts, posted in December 2013, the company achieved record sales of £1.74bn in the year to 31 March 2013.

The company, which is owned by Mitsubishi Corporation, grew sales by 15 per cent during the year and generated a profit after tax of £40.4m, compared to £31.1m in 2012.

Princes, which is one of the country’s largest suppliers of canned food, ranks as the 10th largest food and drink company in the UK.

Over the past three years it has acquired two major canned food production sites in East Anglia and formed a new company in Italy that operates one of the most modern and efficient tomato processing, canning and packing sites in Europe.

As well as the investment in the Bradford site, the company launched a new production line at its edible oils site in Belvedere, Kent.

The company currently operates 14 production sites and employs over 6,000 people.

Its programme of brand investment and development has included the re-launch of the iconic Crosse & Blackwell brand with a range of canned soup and vegetable products sold in supermarkets and convenience stores across the UK. The soups are the first in the UK to be awarded the Good Housekeeping Institute accreditation and continue to be supported by a marketing investment.

Princes is also expanding further into continental European and International markets, increasing sales outside of the UK by 25 per to £350m.

In addition to operating a number of leading food and drinks brands in the UK, the company is a leading canned fish brand in The Netherlands and owns the largest tuna brand in Austria, Vier Diamanten.

It has increased the scale of its food and drink production through acquisition and organic growth, with 21 mergers and acquisitions in 23 years.