Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Mash Direct Ltd


By John Simpson

Mash Direct is an ambitious and growing vegetable preparation business based in Comber.

The main shareholders are the Hamilton family who have built the business as an independent unit separate from their local farming activities.

A feature of the organisation of Mash Direct is the increasing number of local primary produce suppliers for whom Mash Direct is a useful customer. The number of registered primary producer suppliers increased further in 2016-17 to 63.

During the last three years this business has continued to expand and is now benefiting from the major capital investment in 2015 in an extended industrial kitchen for the preparation of a range of products for marketing.

Turnover has been increasing steadily, year by year, and the return on the extra investment has been evidenced in improved operating and pre-tax profits in the two most recent years.

Part of the improved trading performance may be attributed to the continuing commitment in the business to spending on research and development related to the range of products.

In each recent year, spending on R&D has averaged nearly £400,000.

The company has a record of making annual modest dividend payments to the shareholders. After dividends have been deducted from post-tax profits, the remaining profits are retained in the business.

A feature of the recent balance sheet has been the big increase in the value of shareholders' funds.

The significant increase seems to be more a product of a net change in debtors and creditors balances which was larger than the increase in retained profits.

Belfast Telegraph

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