Food-to-go company Around Noon wraps up higher profits

Newry manufacturer of sandwiches, salads and baked goods warns of currency risk

Sandwich success: Around Noon chief executive Gareth Chambers (left) and executive chef David Graham

Sandwich success: Around Noon chief executive Gareth Chambers (left) and executive chef David Graham

 

Around Noon, the Northern Ireland-based food-to-go manufacturer, took a bigger bite of pre-tax profits from an increased turnover of £17 million (€20 million) last year latest accounts show.

The Newry-headquartered company, which manufactures an average of 24 million products per year from sandwiches to wraps, salads and bakery items, grew its pre-tax profits to nearly £680,000 in the 12 months to December.

Around Noon was set up by husband-and-wife team Francis and Sheila Chambers in their family kitchen in 1989.

It initially made sandwiches for local businesses around Newry but today supplies more than 200 “hand-held food-on-the-move” products to a range of businesses including retailers and coffee chains across the UK and Ireland.

Mrs Chambers remains a director of Around Noon but the company is now part of Around Noon Foods Ltd, which is ultimately controlled by Mrs Chambers’ son Gareth and group chairman Howard Farquhar.

Dublin bakery

It currently employs 234 people. In addition to its Newry headquarters, it has also acquired a London manufacturing base and a bakery operation in Dublin.

In its latest set of accounts Around Noon states that it “plans to continue its present activities and current trading levels”.

But the company also warns that one of the key risks it faces is exposure to currency variances, given “a significant proportion of the company’s main activities” are conducted in the Republic.

“The company’s activities in Europe are conducted primarily in euro,” it highlights.

The latest accounts show that as well as growing its sales by 2.6 per cent last year and pre-tax profits by 88.9 per cent, Around Noon grew its net asset base from £919,000 in 2017 to more than £1.2 million last year.