M&M Walshe eyeing UK foodservice market

M&M Walshe eyeing UK foodservice market

M&M Walshe, the Ireland-based business behind Callan Bacon, has snapped up UK firm Stirchley Bacon in a bid to step up its presence in the country and, in particular, its foodservice market.

John Walshe, the managing director of M&M Walshe, told just-food the company had been in talks to supply UK foodservice operators but believed the acquisition would help build the Irish group further in a market that, through exports to retailers, accounts for half its turnover.

"We thought that, as we were doing so much business in the UK, we should have a UK base," Mr Walshe said today (6 October). "Foodservice is an area where we would like to expand our business."

He said M&M Walshe would continue with Stirchley Bacon's business of supplying smaller foodservice operators and, to serve larger customers including pub chains, look to supply through the likes of Brakes.

The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, would give the enlarged group, which also includes rib products supplier RibWorld, an annual turnover of around EUR120m and profits of around EUR5m, Mr Walshe said.

The company expects sales and profits to stay at around that level in its current financial year, which runs until the end of April. However, Mr Walshe said the group is targeting annual sales of EUR150m. As well as growth from Callan and Stirchley, Mr Walshe is expecting further expansion at RibWorld, which supplies retailers and foodservice businesses. "RibWorld is growing right across Europe," he said.