Owner of WKD and Shloer posts £545m in sales

Belfast-based SHS Group owns more than 100 consumer brands

SHS’s brands include Merrydown Cider, Shloer and WKD. Photograph: iStock

SHS’s brands include Merrydown Cider, Shloer and WKD. Photograph: iStock


The Belfast-headquartered SHS Group, which owns a range of consumer brands from Merrydown Cider to Shloer, has reported a £77 million (€87 million) jump in turnover to a record £545.6 million.

The privately owned group’s main business revolves around the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

The company, which has been in business since 1975, also reported a slight dip in pretax profits for the 12 months ending December 2017 to £24.4 million.

SHS Group employs more than 800 people and distributes more than 100 consumer brands across Ireland and Britain.

Its growing portfolio of household brands ranges from confectionary and health products to beverages, sauces and alcoholic drinks.

The latest set of end of year accounts detail that SHS expanded its portfolio during 2017 with the acquisition of Standard Brands (UK) which added the Zip and Sunny Jim products to its existing range which includes Maguire & Paterson matches.           

Growth strategy

In a directors’ report accompanying the numbers, the SHS Group said the “successful implementation of a growth strategy” was the key factor for its “above-market performance in 2017”.

“The key performance indicator for the group is the gross margin. The gross margin for the period was 15.7 per cent,” they said.

The accounts show that the value of the group’s net assets by the end of December 2017 had jumped to more than £90 million - compared to £12.8 million a year earlier .

The directors said that during the year, the group’s drinks division, which also includes WKD and the Bottlegreen cordials, developed new markets while the sales and marketing divisions in Ireland and Britain “delivered double-digit top line growth” in their core business. They described prospects for the future as “satisfactory”.