The owners of the north-east wine company Lanchester Group are exploring new ventures after recording record sales of £ 110million.

The County Durham importer, contract bottler and gift company saw revenue growth of 15% to £ 110.5million for the year ending June 30.

The group, which includes Lanchester Wines, Greencroft Bottling, The Wine Fusion, Bon Bon’s (Wholesale) Ltd, Spicers of Hythe, Lanchester Properties and Lanchester Energy, said EBITDA also rose 34% to 10.4 million. pounds sterling, while profit before tax rose 70% to £ 5.98 million.

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Tony and Veronica Cleary, owners and directors of the Lanchester group of companies, said they are now looking to the future.

Mr. Cleary said: “While this has been a banner year for the group, it has not been without hard work and our success is a testament to the expertise of our teams who have all faced unpredictable challenges.

“The past 24 months have been an amazing time for all businesses; we’ve worked incredibly hard to keep our business open and, most importantly, safe for all of our staff.

“As a family business, we attach great importance to the health and well-being of our teams and have introduced protective measures that go beyond recommended practices, including building additional walkways and increasing time between shift changes to ensure social distancing.

Managing Director of the Lanchester Group, Tony Cleary

“We are a diverse group of companies covering different sectors and diverse clientele. This was a strategic development plan to ensure that, as a group, we remain strong, with each company supporting the others as needed. This has especially worked to our advantage during these difficult 24 months, as while some of our businesses have seen their customers temporarily shut down, others have seen an uptick. “

Greencroft Bottling increased its turnover by 24% thanks to the boom in sales of supermarket wines. The company is one of the largest contract wine bottlers in Europe and packages products for some of the world’s largest wine companies. It now has eight filling lines that can fill up to 95,000 bottles, cartons and cans of wine per hour.

Lanchester Wines has been hit by nationwide lockdowns, which have led to the closure of 80% of its hotel customers for five months. Luxury confectionery company Bon Bon’s (Wholesale) Ltd, also saw the closure of its garden center and lifestyle retail customers, but was still able to achieve an 11% increase in turnover. business.

Meanwhile, the group’s London-based business, The Wine Fusion, benefited from increased sales from its mail order wine customers and Spicers of Hythe, who moved from Kent to Gateshead during this time all by merging with Lanchester Gifts, also saw an increase in sales as gift mailings increased during containment.

Online retailer Spirit & Co, which specializes in exporting spirits to the United States, has seen its annual turnover more than double as Full Circle Brew Co of Newcastle, launched in December 2019, continues to grow its business. team and expand its range, direct to consumers and in some of the UK’s largest wholesalers.

Mr. Cleary added: “Although this has been a banner year for the group, we are always looking to the future. While we naturally halted our investments last year, we have already started a number of exciting projects in the first half of the current fiscal year which will come to fruition over the next 12-18 months.

“This includes improving our already exceptional sustainability credentials with significant investments in additional renewables and heat production. We have already invested over £ 8million in wind, solar and geothermal power / heat generation in the North East, and we are the first company in Europe to heat our warehouses with water from construction sites disused mines.

“As a company, we believe carbon neutrality is just the beginning and we continue to share our best practices and thought leadership with others.

“As we continue to mitigate new pandemic and supply challenges, we are in a strong and sustainable position, and we enter our next fiscal year from a position of strength. “

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