Leeds-based Roberts Mart and Co Ltd, the UK’s leading independent manufacturer and supplier of flexible packaging, has seen turnover rise by £4m to £38m, the highest in the family-run company’s 167-year history.
Roberts Mart, which has a staff of 200, is now based in purpose-built headquarters at Aire Valley House, Thornes Farm Way in east Leeds, after moving from its iconic premises at Bank Mills in 2004.
In the wake of such a successful year, the award-winning company is investing in two state-of-the-art machines, a high-speed slitter and a laminator. The new £400,000 slitter has multiple automating solutions which will increase firepower and flexibility in the production process, while the Super Combi 4000 laminator and coater cost £500,000.
Roberts Mart’s managing director William Roberts said: “It has been a very busy year for the company. This significant investment in new equipment is possible because we have a healthy order book – with a good number of new customers coming through the pipeline as well. We are seeing growth across the board, particularly food, where we are seeing much more opportunity in snacks and confectionery.
“Normally you would spread capital expenditure out over a period of time but the amount of new business we are winning dictates that this time it has been made all at once.
“It has been an excellent last 12 months – and in the light of our new investment in the slitter and the laminator, which will make our production process swifter, sharper and more efficient, the future looks very bright indeed.
“We are indebted to our hard-working staff, whose loyalty and teamwork is exemplary. They are the bedrock of our success”
Roberts Mart has a tremendous track record for winning awards across the globe and this year is no exception. The company has triumphed in the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) Excellence In Flexography Awards with its Fruit Bowl Apple School Bar Wrapper and Espresso Monte Carlo Deca Gourmand Bag designs. The awards will be presented in New Orleans in May.
The company has also been nominated in the prestigious European Flexographic Industry Association (EFIA) awards for its designs for Expresso Monte Carlo Deca Gourmand Compostable; Fruit Bowl Apple School Bar; Co-op 28 Cocktail Sausages 420g; and Webbox Twin Pack Chicken Flavour.
Roberts Mart, which was founded by William Roberts in Leeds in 1852 and is run by the sixth generation of the Robert family, supplies a vast range of shrink wrap, laminated film and high-quality printed flexible packaging to clients in the food and drink, home textiles (including duvets) and paper products industries.
William began trading as a paper merchant in Lady Lane, Leeds, making handmade bags, before moving into commercial printing.
Co-directors William and Ben Roberts are following in the footsteps of their father and chairman John who has been given an Outstanding Contribution award by the British Printing Industries Federation after over 50 years’ service with the company. He handed over the day-to-day management in 2009 to his two sons but remains active in the business.