Posted on Friday 14 September 2018 by John Mulgrew

Moy web

Poultry giant Moy Park has increased its position as Northern Ireland’s largest company after posting sales of £1.55bn.

The company topped the Ulster Business Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies list in 2018 for the seventh year in a row.

Now, in its latest accounts, turnover is up from £1.4bn to £1.55bn, while pre-tax profits have increased from £40.8m to £43.9m.

The company supplies Moy Park branded and own label chicken products to leading retailers and foodservice providers throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Speaking about the latest results, Moy Park president, Chris Kirke said: "We are pleased to announce a strong financial performance in 2017, delivering volume and revenue growth in what remains a challenging and competitive marketplace.

"As part of our strategic investment programme, we have invested £40m in our infrastructure during the year. By continuing to invest in our industry-leading agricultural base and state-of-the-art processing facilities, along with a focus on innovation, we ensure a solid platform for future growth.

"Our business is built on the highest standards of food safety and quality, and we are committed to meeting and exceeding the ever-evolving expectations of our customers and consumers. Demand for our products remains strong across all our regions and the business is well placed to expand on its position as a leading European food company.”

Moy Park - which is now owned by US firm Pilgrim’s - processes six million fresh chickens each week, 600,000 turkeys a year, along with 200,000 tonnes of ‘added value products’.

Speaking to Ulster Business this summer, new boss, London-born Chris Kirke, formerly with the Greencore group in the US, said:

“My role is to work very hard on the returns the business makes, grow it appropriately in the right areas,” he said

“We need to be at the forefront of winning with customers, both ones we have and ones we would like to have.

“We have to think of this business as a European business. It’s based in Craigavon, but supplies around Europe.”

Moy Park has production facilities at a dozen sites across the UK, Holland and France.

On the future and the jobs front, he says Moy Park’s Craigavon base will remain its thriving hub.

“I want the business to become a food business. At the moment we are a primary processing business,” he said.

That could include a range of new ‘added value’ areas and convenience foods.

“We need to expand larger categories than those we are in now. In terms of Craigavon, this is our corporate centre and our home.”

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