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Gilbert’s Foods secures £2.4million funding package

18 June 2013

Lancashire food supplier Gilbert’s Foods is looking to expand its export business after securing a £2.4million funding package from HSBC.

The package includes a £2m invoice finance line and a £400,000 import finance facility which will provide working capital to enable the company to accelerate export expansion and increase the volume of meat it imports.

The Heysham based company, which supplies meat and poultry dishes to the wholesale, food service and retail sectors, opened its first facility in Australia earlier this year to support exports to the country. It is also looking to establish exports to Europe, India and China.
According to Gilbert’s, the finance will support ambitious plans to significantly grow its £10m turnover. 

The family business was founded by Gilbert Smith in 1970 and was one of the original suppliers of meat to McDonalds. Gilbert’s son Peter is now managing director of the firm, which employs 65 people.

The company specialises in manufacturing pasteurised meat products which are designed for re-heating via microwave, oven, boil-in-the-bag, grill or rotisserie.

Managing director, Peter Smith, said: “We import a lot of our meat so the invoice finance element of the finance will help the business as currently a lot of our stock is on the water and arrives in clusters, which ties up working capital and causes cash flow issues. The new facility gives us the head room to increase imports but also frees up working capital to expand the business elsewhere.

“Export is an area we are only just getting into but we see strong growth in this area and will be targeting Europe, China and India, as well as Australia of course.”

Leigh Briggs, HSBC Lancashire area commercial director, added: “When we sat down with Peter and the team at Gilbert’s we quickly came to the conclusion that invoice finance was an ideal solution to the company’s requirements. The facility covers the company’s complete business cycle and will help towards its growth plans, benefiting both the local and wider UK economy.”

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