Posted on Thursday 8 August 2019 by Ulster Business

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From a purely editorial perspective it would be refreshing to have a different company head up the Ulster Business Top 100 Northern Ireland Companies list.

But Moy Park has now made it to the top for eight consecutive years, as the poultry processing giant continues to expand both its workforce, global sales and pre-tax profit – firmly setting its place at Northern Ireland’s biggest business, with a workforce of more than 6,000 here alone.

In the last year, it has grown turnover to just over £1.5bn, up from £1.4bn a year earlier, while pre-tax profits have surged by 8% – rising to £64.5m in its latest set of accounts, ending December 2017.

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

In numbers, Moy Park processes six million fresh chickens each week, 600,000 turkeys a year, along with 200,000 tonnes of other ‘added value products’.

London-born Chris Kirke replaced long-serving boss Janet McCollum in 2018, less than a year after Craigavon-based Moy Park was taken over by new US owners Pilgrim’s.

And around a year ago, Flavio Malnarcic (pictured) joined the business – then as executive business director – before taking over as the firm’s chief financial officer.

He was formerly business director at JBS Global, and has a senior leadership background as executive director of the poultry and export business in Seara, also as chief financial officer and chief executive at Tyson do Brazil and finance roles in Cargill.

“There has been a consistence in the performance. We have been growing volumes… we got to six million birds each week, which is about a third of the UK market. For the UK, it is a significantly big company.

“Looking year-over-year, our performance was very consistent in the last few years.”

“For people working there, working for a company which is the largest employer in a country, the top company, it is a source of pride for us.

“But I don’t think that drives the behaviour of the team. We are more interested in making sure that our performance is sustainable in terms of margins.

“It is nice that we are (the biggest firm) but that is not our main goal. We are making sure that we are sustainable, work on quality, safety. There are lots of other things. It’s making sure that we fit our customer needs.

“We have a lot focus on that, and we need to be competitive.”

And as for growth, expanding turnover isn’t necessarily the main focus, according to Flavio

“A lot of the efforts in the last year have been to consolidate the management tools they have in Pilgrim’s. They are very keen on efficiency, so that’s one of their strategies.

“(There is) a lot of focus in improving our performance, it’s how we can be more efficient, focusing on a portfolio that feeds our customer base, how we deal with our customers.”

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