Portadown-based potato producer sees 10% lift in turnover and profits rise
Wilson’s Country Ltd enjoyed measured growth in the 12-month period to July 2016, according to accounts published this week. The Portadown company saw turnover increase by around 10% with pre-tax profit for the same period rising from £225,347 to £448,469.
CEO, Angus Wilson described the performance as ‘steady within a challenging marketplace’ during a period when the cost of purchasing potatoes had almost doubled from the start to the end of the season due to crop shortages. Mr Wilson highlighted the brand’s commitment to innovation as a key contributor to the company’s ‘encouraging’ growth.
“During the course of 2016 we introduced a number of innovative fresh chilled convenience products to the Irish retail sector under our new brand ‘You Say Potato’. These include fresh prepared chips, peeled potatoes ready for the microwave, baby potatoes with Irish herb and garlic butter and sweet potato. “The Wilson’s business model is about ensuring we are offering customers taste, convenience, range and value for money.
“We have been delighted with the support from retailers and the way consumers have embraced our new products. We are in ongoing discussions with our customers in relation to further possible listings. Furthermore, we plan to continue with our investment in infrastructure and marketing initiatives for the remainder of 2017 and beyond.”
Mr Wilson said the outlook was good for 2017 with early indications of a healthy crop due to the recent ideal weather of sunshine and showers. The 2017 cropping season has just commenced with local Comber now fresh on the shelves. The Wilson’s brand has a long and proud tradition. From its roots, starting off as a single line serving a small section of the rural Armagh community, it is now one of the best-known potato brands in Ireland, supplying most of the major retailers across the island. It also supplies a full range of peeled and chipped potatoes to a wide range of customers in the catering sector in Ireland.
The original company which was established in 1986 by Angus Wilson and currently works with around 20 potato growers, employs more than 70 people direct.