Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: Marlbank Ltd

Meat company has beefed up dividends

By John Simpson

Marlbank is the parent company of Hilton Meats (International) and one of a small group of successful red meat processors and wholesalers here.

Marlbank is a stand-alone company which, through common directors, is deemed to be related to others including Hilton Meats (Retail).

Hilton Meats (Retail) is a subsidiary in the separate group, Hilton Food Group, which is headquartered in Cambridgeshire, although it continues to have family connections with Northern Ireland. Marlbank operates as a wholesaler of processed meat. This company enjoys a large annual turnover, exceeding £100m, but it is not the direct owner of a large meat processing plant.

A sizeable proportion of the turnover from Marlbank subsidiary, Hilton Meats (International), is sold to the related company, Hilton Meats (Retail).

Marlbank group sources a significant part of its turnover, valued at £22m in 2010, from Hilton Meats (Cookstown) in which it holds 50% of the issued share capital.

As a joint venture, Hilton Meats (Cookstown) makes a shared contribution to the pre-tax profit of this group.

Hilton Meats (Cookstown) is also a related company to Foyle Foods (which owns Donegal Meat Processors, Foyle Meats and Omagh Meats) from which it buys part of its meat for processing.

Marlbank, as a trading wholesaler, operates with a staff of 12. The biggest items on its balance sheet reflect the necessary balance of working capital to underpin the financial transactions.

Each year the company usually pays a dividend to its shareholders.

In 2010, the dividends paid, at £3.6m, recovered from a lower amount in 2009. This payment reduced the balance sheet value of shareholders' funds to £1.8m.