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December 10 2017 6:00 PM
SHS Group, a major Northern Ireland distributor of consumer brands and goods in Ireland and the UK, saw revenues soar by 23pc last year as turnover hit £468m (€533m). Profits before tax reached almost £25m.
According to the directors report, "all group trading divisions delivered excellent top line growth driven by innovation, new business and brand investment". It stated that profits were boosted by "prudent management of operating costs and foreign exchange exposure".
As well as distributing brands such as Colgate, Ryvita and Twinings, SHS owns several brands including drinks Shloer, Merrydown cider and WKD.
The report stated: "The WKD and Merrydown brands were relaunched and the soft drinks portfolio was reformulated in preparation for sugar tax legislation."
It said that the SHS condiments and sauces division consolidated its position in the private labels segment.
The company employs 781 people, which was 17 up on the previous year. The Belfast-headquartered company is owned by the Salters and Sloan families, with shareholders enjoying a dividend a £9m in 2016 and £6m in the previous year.
Earlier this year, SHS, which was set up in 1975, paid an undisclosed sum for Standard Brands, which includes the Zip range of fire products.