Belfast Telegraph

Farm aims for £31m turnover as sales double over festive period

By Clare Weir

A Co Down venison farm doubled its sales over the Christmas period to £2.5m and now plans to grow the business to £31m in just two years.

Over the past three years, Finnebrogue has grown turnover from £4m to £18m and quadrupled staff numbers.

Further expansion is also expected, with plans to grow reach £31m turnover by 2014.

The Downpatrick company, which also makes pork products, launched a new range of 2012 lines for Marks & Spencer, employing 50 extra people.

Established in 1986, an abattoir facility was installed at the Finnebrogue estate in early 2001, and is the only dedicated deer slaughtering facility in Ireland.

As well as supplying Marks & Spencer, the firm also makes the Jimmy Doherty sausage brand, and supplies the Paul Rankin sausage brand to Waitrose and Tesco, with a combined turnover of £3m.

Finnebrogue also launched its own brand, Good Little Company in 2009, now one of the fastest selling new brands in Waitrose, with annual turnover of £1.5m.

Ulster Bank provided finance to support the introduction of Finnebrogue’s Marks & Spencer Christmas orders as part of the bank’s ongoing lending and support for the business.

Finnebrogue managing director, Denis Lynn, said that the successful Christmas period has set the company in good stead for the year ahead and beyond.

He added: “We will be launching a range of new sausage products for Tesco, new burgers for Marks & Spencer and a number of new products for Marks & Spencer’s Gloucester Old Spot Heritage range.”

Ulster Bank corporate manager, Damien Long, added that Finnebrogue is one of Northern Ireland’s outstanding food sector success stories.

Belfast Telegraph