Belfast Telegraph

Lurgan's Classic Mineral Water Company to more than double output after major upgrade

From left: Gerard Watters and Liam Duffy of Classic
Mineral Water with Caroline McKeown from Ulster Bank and Declan Napier of Lombard
From left: Gerard Watters and Liam Duffy of Classic Mineral Water with Caroline McKeown from Ulster Bank and Declan Napier of Lombard
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A mineral water company in Co Armagh has said an investment in its manufacturing facilities will enable it to more than double its output.

The Classic Mineral Water Company in Lurgan has made a multi-million pound investment in two new automated production lines.

When up and running, the new lines will enable the Lurgan company to boost production capacity from 8,000 units per hour to a maximum 20,000 units per hour.

The investment has been funded by Ulster Bank and by asset finance specialist Lombard.

Caroline McKeown, senior relationship manager at Ulster Bank, said: "The investment will enable the company's new management team to propel what is a traditional business into the 21st century through the integration of high-capacity automated production facilities.

"As one of Northern Ireland's standout fast-moving consumer goods producers, a sector Ulster Bank is committed to resourcing, we are pleased to provide finance to the Classic Mineral Water Company to put in place the facilities that will equip the company with the means to expand its presence throughout the UK and Ireland."

Liam Duffy, the company's chief executive and owner, said: "As the only company in Northern Ireland with certified natural mineral water status we are well positioned to capitalise on opportunities in the soft drinks and beverage sector with a locally-sourced and premium product."

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As well as being the only company in Northern Ireland with natural mineral water status, the 70-year-old firm is one of only three such in Ireland.

Mr Duffy said the support of Ulster Bank and Lombard was enabling the firm to grow in existing markets, as well as get ready to scale up operations as it breaks into new markets.

As well as its retail lines, the company also has a water cooler business, supplying over 500 customers.

As well as producing its own still and sparkling mineral water, the firm also makes red and white lemonades, and cordials.

However, the company said it no longer carries out door to door household deliveries, having stopped the practice back in 1996.

It has wholesale and retail customers around Ireland including Tesco, Aldi, Dunnes Stores, Musgrave, Henderson Group, Deli Lites and Pallas Foods.

Belfast Telegraph

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