By Kristy Dorsey

A Scottish supplier of ingredients to the global food and drink industry has more than doubled capacity at its facility in East Lothian amid increasing consumer demand for natural products.

Family-owned PureMalt, which distributes to 70 countries across six continents, has boosted its brewing capacity from 10,400 tonnes to 25,400 tonnes annually after securing a £7 million funding package from HSBC. The financial support has been used to build a new 15,000sq ft brew house adjacent to its facility in Haddington, and to upgrading existing premises.

Purchased in 1977 in a deal led by chairman and managing director Bruce Turner, the business incorporated under the PureMalt name in 1984. This latest expansion has created four new jobs, taking total headcount to more than 100.

HeraldScotland: PureMalt's new brew housePureMalt's new brew house

The company made a pre-tax profit of £3.7m in the year to March 31 on revenues of £19m. About half of its sales are to major multi-national brewers, with the other half used by food producers for a variety of purposes such as gravy colouring or adding texture to ice cream and meat-free products.

Mr Turner’s son, deputy managing director Ross Turner, said demand breached production capacity in 2019-20 as PureMalt's customers responded to rising consumer appetite for higher-quality foods free from chemical additives. All PureMalt products are made with natural ingredients, he added.

“That has been the major driver [of growth],” he said, adding that the company has also been bolstered by the creation of new brewing distribution partnerships around the world.

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The funding package, which includes an invoice finance and asset finance allowance, has allowed the company to install a robotic pallet movement system in its new distribution warehouse. Its floor maltings building has also undergone renovation.

Chairman Bruce Turner said the company is delighted that demand for its malt-based ingredients continues to grow.

“Reaching capacity was certainly a good problem to have, but it’s been challenging to turn away growth opportunities whilst we awaited our new investments,” he added.