UK meat and poultry supplier Gilbert’s Foods is to invest GBP2.4m (US$3.7m) in the expansion of its export business.

The Lancashire-based food supplier has secured funding through HSBC to enable the company to accelerate expansion and increase the volume of meat it imports, it said.

Gilbert’s, which supplies meat and poultry dishes to the wholesale, food service and retail sectors, opened its first facility in Australia earlier this year to support exports to the country. It is now also looking to establish exports to Europe, India and China.

The company said the finance will support ambitious plans to “significantly” grow its GBP10m turnover.

“We import a lot of our meat so the invoice finance element of the finance will help the business. Currently a lot of our stock is on the water and arrives in clusters, which ties up working capital and causes cash flow issues,” said MD Peter Smith.

“The new facility gives us the headroom to increase imports but also frees up working capital to expand the business elsewhere.”