Sweet success in face of recession

LIFE is getting sweeter for Blackpool's biggest confectioners.

Bosses at Tangerine Confectionery in Marton are celebrating a top 25 entry into a prestigious league table.

The Vicarage Lane sweet factory has been ranked 23rd in the PriceWaterHouseCoopers Profit Track 100, published by The Sunday Times this weekend.

It is the highest North West entry in the table, which lists the 100 private UK's companies with the fastest growing profits.

Tangerine make and distribute classic retro sweets across the globe and profits have grown 87 per cent a year from 546,000 in 2004 to more than 3.5m in 2007.

It is one of only nine companies in the region to make it to the top 100 list.

Chris Marshall, managing director of Tangerine Confectionery, told The Gazette: "It's good news to have the efforts of everyone at Tangerine recognised in this prestigious league table. It's also a boost for Blackpool, where we have our head office and major confectionery production sites .

"The table is based on historical figures before the impact of the current recession took full effect. We believe the future will continue to be challenging so long as we are in recession and expect a greater emphasis on value from the companies we supply.

"Flexibility and reliability will remain paramount, however price and quality remain key as consumers do not want to compromise on their purchases."

In 2006 the company acquired the confectionery arm of Burton's Foods, boosting its products and manufacturing base.

The deal saw the turnover of the company rise to 60m, making it the largest independent confectionery company in the UK.

Tangerine Confectionery employs more than 190 people at its Marton site.

In February last year the company bought Yorkshire-based Monkhill from Cadbury Schweppes for a reported 58m.

Tangerine's brands include Princess marshmallows, Taveners and MOJO.

It also has sites in Poole, Liverpool and Yorkshire.

Alison Lever, partner at PWC in the North West, said: "It is great to see local privately-owned companies delivering sustained growth and making such a positive contribution in spite of the economic slowdown."

Other firms in the list include Bolton-based Integrated Dental Holdings, Pure Leisure Group from Carnforth, steel company William Hare Group from Bury and Kendal-based Mardix, a switchgear manufacturer.

* The full list can be seen in this weekend's Sunday Times