Needlers dressed for success with £2m deals

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NEEDLERS, which supplies hygiene and workwear products to the food manufacturing sector, has won two key contracts, worth around £2m in total, following a move to larger premises.

The business, which employs 59 people and distributes items such as gloves, boots and hard hats, recently relocated into new 53,000 sq ft premises at Melton, west of Hull, having previously operated from a 20,000 sq ft site in Hull.

Alistair Needler, managing director and owner, said: “We have grown the business substantially. We grew 40 per cent last year, we are currently 30 per cent growth up, we’ve just won another £1.5m to £2m of business, so I think we might be looking to extend this warehouse as well.”

Turnover this year will finish at around £16.5m, said Mr Needler. Last year, the business turned over around £13m. New contract wins have recently been secured with pork producers Tulip, which is part of the Danish Crown Group, and bakery and cake shop Greggs, worth about £1m each.

“They are significant. It will take us from where we are at the moment, £16.5m to around £18.5m to £19m with other business we are doing,” said Mr Needler. He wants to take the business to £25m turnover by 2015, but ultimately to grow it to around £50m.

“The whole food market is worth we reckon roughly £250m so with us having £16m or £17m of it we have only got about eight per cent of the market.”

“We are effectively the number two supplier in the UK to food manufacturing of hygiene and workwear products,” he added.

Needlers sources its goods from the UK, Europe and the Far East. It also works with its suppliers to develop new products.

In 2009, Mr Needler completed a management buyout of the then family-owned business, which goes back to the 1850s.

He said the food manufacturing market is very competitive, but added: “We have lost very little major account business because we give customers the service.

“We are food industry specialists. We don’t get distracted by other industries. That is what we are focused on.”

Needlers’ existing customers include 2 Sisters, Greencore, Samworths, Cranswick, Bettys and Taylors, William Jackson Food Group, and ABP.