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Confectionery firm invests £3.25M to grow exports

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By Rod Addy+

Last updated the 21-May-2014 at 19:13 GMT

Confectionery firm Morris & Son has invested £3.25M to support plans to expand in global markets.

The Leeds-headquartered company operates two main divisions: Morris & Son (Leeds) and Stockleys Sweets.

Morris & Son (Leeds) specialises in wholesaling ‘clearance’ products that are close to their sell-by date or excess stock to small and discount stores.

Stockleys Sweets produces boiled sweets and fudges, including Herbal Candy and Pear Drops to high-end retailers, traditional sweet shops and hamper companies.

£500M fund

The investment was made possible as a result of funding provided by HSBC’s West Yorkshire commercial team, via a £500M fund specifically for small to medium-sized businesses in Yorkshire & Humber. It would help Stockleys expand into new global markets, Morris & Son claimed.

Andy Needham, Morris & Son md said he had been inspired to turn to HSBC after he spoke with bank client Richard Kaye, md of Fired Up Corporation, on a trade trip.

“I met Richard on a trip he’d organised to China with local businesses and Huddersfield Town AFC and he was praising HSBC and the service he’d received,” said Needham.

“I then spoke to another HSBC customer, which reaffirmed the views I’d formed of the bank following my meetings with David and his team.

‘Growth plans’

“The funding will help the company’s growth plans and gives us the flexible working capital we require as we expand. The growth of discount retailers has created huge demand for our type of products, so we are excited about the future.”

Mike Hemingway, HSBC West Yorkshire area commercial director, said: “Morris & Son has experienced strong growth over the past 15 years and has carefully developed the business through strategic acquisitions and expanding its distribution facilities. This funding package gives the company capacity for further expansion.”

Morris & Son was set up in 1999 and now generates sales of over £17M a year, operating out of sites across Leeds, Stockport and Blackburn, and employing 90 people. Stockleys Sweets was acquired by the company in 2009 and has a turnover of about £3M.

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