Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: SHS Group Ltd

By John Simpson

SHS Group is a Northern Ireland registered company with offices, warehousing and a distribution centre in Newtownabbey.

The group consolidates the trading results of 12 subsidiary companies in nine of which SHS holds 100% of the ordinary shares. The group accounts reflect trading in the calendar year although, for accuracy, the annual figures are assessed in the latest results for a year ending on January 3.

The group describes its activities as principally sales of grocery, confectionery, beverage and pharmaceutical products as well as in the manufacture of herbs and spices and market research.

Turnover in the group increased sharply in 2004 and 2005 after the acquisition of other businesses including the well-known Merrydown business. More recently, turnover has further increased through the existing range of businesses. The 5% reduction in 2009 was the first significant reversal in the last decade.

The analysis of sales showing the geographical distribution shows that turnover in the UK continued to increase in 2009, by 5%, whilst sales outside the UK (possibly in the Republic of Ireland) fell by 40%.

The group has consistently reported satisfactory profits. In proportion to turnover, operating profits in the last two years have, at just under 5%, been lower than in the middle of this decade. Pre-tax profits are closely aligned to operating profits since the scale of net interest charges is comparatively modest.

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