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18. John Henderson Holdings

Chairman: John Agnew

Employment: 2,175

Turnover: £532m

Pre-tax profit: £14.1m

John Henderson (Holdings) is the parent company to a number of subsidiaries with a range of activities, wholesale and retail, in food distribution mainly in Northern Ireland and also in the Republic of Ireland.

In 2010, the group continued a successful period of annual increases in turnover over more than 20 years, usually matched by improvements in operating profits.

Henderson Wholesale holds the franchise for Spar, Vivo and VG in Northern Ireland and through these franchise activities offers services to 422 retail outlets.

Other subsidiaries include Henderson Retail, which has a network of 70 directly owned supermarkets and forecourt stores. Henderson Foodservice provides a food service to the catering trade. The expansion of the businesses continued in 2008 with the spending of over £3m on the acquisition of Bell’s Food Stores and the Moyle Supermarket.

More recently, the group has purchased The Streat franchising company.

In the last 20 years turnover has grown substantially. The expansion seems to have come from a combination of expansion in the existing businesses and from investment in the purchase of new businesses.

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