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In Pictures: Belfast Telegraph Business Awards - Spar owner Henderson lifts top gong

By Margaret Canning

Henderson Group - the retail and wholesale business behind household name Spar - has been named Overall Business of the Year at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in Association with British Airways.

>>Don't miss Special souvenir Business Awards supplement inside the Belfast Telegraph on April 28<<

The family-run company, based in Mallusk, was the big winner at last night's glittering ceremony in the Culloden Hotel.

Nearly 500 of Northern Ireland's brightest and best - and most well-dressed - business people attended the black-tie event.

It was hosted by BBC NI presenter Wendy Austin and featured entertainment from comedian Neil Delamere.

The awards were sponsored for the fourth year in a row by British Airways.

Brenda Morgan, relationship manager at British Airways, said: "British Airways has a long-standing commitment to serving the local business community in Northern Ireland and we were delighted to sponsor the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards for the fourth consecutive year.

"As the leading and most respected business awards ceremony in Northern Ireland, the event provided British Airways with the perfect opportunity to recognise local excellence and applaud the incredible work demonstrated by companies from across the region.

"BA would like to congratulate the winners, who have demonstrated major achievements to be awarded these accolades and who are playing a vital role in the continued growth and success of the Northern Ireland marketplace."

The James Street South restaurant - led by chef Niall McKenna and his wife Joanne - triumphed in the new category of Excellence in Tourism/Hospitality, which was introduced to tie in with the current Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink campaign.

Henderson Group is led by brothers Geoffrey and Martin Agnew, the great-grandsons of John Henderson, who started the family business as a bread and milk cart in St George's Market in 1897.

The group has owned the Spar franchise of independent shops since 1960.

There are 324 Spar stores in Northern Ireland - 280 in the Spar convenience store format and 44 in the larger Eurospar supermarket guise.

Through its Spar business, as well as wholesale, property and printing divisions, Henderson Group enjoyed sales of £663m in the most recent year, and pre-tax profits of £21.2m.

Brian McConville, the chairman of fit-out firm MJM Group in Newry, was crowned Businessperson of the Year.

It's the second year in a row that a businessperson from the enterprise hub of Newry has picked up the title, after Brian Conlon of First Derivatives plc was named winner last year.

The other big winners of the evening...

Belfast Telegraph Businessperson of the Year, sponsored by British Airways:

Brian McConville, MJM Group

Belfast Telegraph Overall Business of the Year, sponsored by British Airways:

Henderson Group

Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by RLA Ireland:

Galgorm Resort and Spa

Excellence in Exporting, sponsored by FedEx:

A J Power Ltd

Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership, sponsored by Department for Employment and Learning:

Cpl

Young Businessperson of the Year, sponsored by ALMAC:

Connaire McGreevy, CTS Projects and Mourne Mountains Brewery

Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Federation of Small Businesses:

Henderson Group

Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media, sponsored by Saville Audio Visual:

CosyRoof

Excellence in Technology, sponsored by BT:

Veratta Ltd

Best Small/Medium Business, sponsored by Tughans:

Upstream Ltd

Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility, sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council:

Ground Espresso Bars

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and Hospitality,

sponsored by Tourism Ireland: James Street South

Belfast Telegraph Businessperson of the Year, sponsored by British Airways:

Brian McConville, MJM Group

Belfast Telegraph Overall Business of the Year, sponsored by British Airways:

Henderson Group

Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by RLA Ireland:

Galgorm Resort and Spa

Excellence in Exporting, sponsored by FedEx:

A J Power Ltd

Excellence in the Development of Management and Leadership, sponsored by Department for Employment and Learning:

Cpl

Young Businessperson of the Year, sponsored by ALMAC:

Connaire McGreevy, CTS Projects and Mourne Mountains Brewery

Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Federation of Small Businesses:

Henderson Group

Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media, sponsored by Saville Audio Visual:

CosyRoof

Excellence in Technology, sponsored by BT:

Veratta Ltd

Best Small/Medium Business, sponsored by Tughans:

Upstream Ltd

Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility, sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council:

Ground Espresso Bars

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and Hospitality,

sponsored by Tourism Ireland: James Street South

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