Northern Irish Finnebrogue among fast growth UK companies

Lynn's Country Foods, better known under the Finnebrogue brand and a major supplier of pork and venison products to retailers in Britain and the Republic of Ireland, is the only food company among just five in Northern Ireland listed in the inaugural Investec Bank Mid-Market 100, a countdown of the UK's fastest-growing private companies.

Finnebrogue, based at Downpatrick in county Down, is a longstanding supplier of venison from its own estate to major UK retailers including Marks and Spencer. The business has since diversified into the development of pork sausages to M&S and other retailers.

The company is part of Lynn's Country Foods, initially established as a food distribution business by Denis Lynn in 1986. He subsequently formed a beef operation in 1991 and then focused on a range of venison products in 1996.

The business, set to hit a turnover target of &pound45 million this year, now includes The Good Little Company focusing on sustainably developed pork sausages, burgers and bacon. Employing upwards of 170 people, the company has two factories in Downpatrick. It includes celebrity chefs Heston Blumenthal and Jimmy Doherty among its customers. The company has its sights set on exporting quality sausages in particular to export markets.

The overall Investec Mid-Market 100 is made up of companies from a broad range of industries, most notably manufacturers and food and drink. These sectors collectively account for almost two fifths of the UK 100 companies, with 20 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.

Investec's Ed Cottrell says: "It is great to see mid-market growth coming from all four corners of the UK and across a broad range of industry sectors.

"We know from our experience of working with mid-sized businesses that they are highly committed to investing for long-term growth and we look forward to seeing these companies go from strength to strength in the future."

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