Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Mash Direct


John Simpson

By John Simpson

Mash Direct is an expanding vegetable preparation business specialising in mashed potatoes, based in Comber, and supplying wholesale and retail markets.

The main shareholders are the Hamilton family who also operate a linked farming business, MH Farms, which trades with Mash Direct.

Mash Direct has been steadily the increasing number of local primary produce suppliers. In 2018 the number increased by a further four to reach 67.

The annual accounts show a continuing increase in the value of turnover which almost reached £17m in the last year.

This was an increase of 6% in the year: nearly 20% higher than three years earlier. A sustained marketing effort is credited with enabling the company to shift more of its sales away from the Northern Ireland market to a greater reliance on sales in Great Britain.

Trading profits in 2017-18 were lower than the year earlier and this is reported to be a result of an increase in the distribution and storage of stocks being held for export markets.

Year by year the company has committed to significant additions to its capital investment with an unusually higher spend last year at £2.3m.

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The company also has an appreciable spend each year on research and development related to the range of products.

Spending on research and development in each of the last two years was in excess of £699,000.

Modest dividend payments are made to the shareholders each year, totalling £240,000 in 2016-17 and £302,000 in 2017-18. Post-tax profits are retained in the business.

As a result the value of shareholders' funds increased last year by 17%.

Belfast Telegraph