Belfast Telegraph

Tayto bags new business in Wales

By Nigel Tilson

Ulster crisp maker Tayto Group has a new addition to its portfolio of companies.

The Tandragee-based group has acquired Welsh company Sirhowy Valley Foods.

Sirhowy manufactures hand-cooked crisps and vegetable chips at Newport, Gwent, under the Real Crisps brand.

Tayto said the deal, for an undisclosed sum, underpins its position as the third biggest crisp company in the UK.

The Ulster firm, which has seen its turnover rise from £15m to over £100m following six years of accelerated growth, also said the latest acquisition would pave the way for further expansion into the designer hand-cooked crisp and vegetable chip market.

Sirhowy, which has a £12m turnover, already supplies 37 Tesco stores in south Wales, as well as branches of Sainsbury's and Asda, from its 65,000sq ft factory.

Its crisps and chips are also sold in food service outlets, including coffee shops, hotels, delis and airports.

Tayto Group, which employs 350 in Tandragee and 550 at Golden Wonder plants in England which it purchased last year, has added an extra 132 to its workforce in one fell swoop.

Tayto managing director Stephen Hutchinson said: "I am delighted to welcome Real Crisps into the Tayto Group. This acquisition underlines our position as a top quality manufacturer with first class management and production capabilities.

"We have a very clear vision for the development of our business and intend to continue expansion in the United Kingdom and abroad, further reinforcing our reputation as a brand builder.

"I am impressed with Sirhowy's factory at Newport and pleased we have been able to secure all the jobs there. Challenges remain, but with the support of staff and customers we are up for the challenge."

Belfast Telegraph