ONE of Northern Ireland’s largest indigenously-owned companies today announced employment growth of 12 per cent in the last quarter bringing the numbers currently employed close to 1,000.
The announcement comes on the day the company changed its name to The Mount Charles Group Ltd to properly reflect the organisation’s growth, potential and diversification ambitions.
Managing Director, independent owner and founder of The Mount Charles Group, Trevor Annon said; “At a time of continuing economic uncertainty and record unemployment levels, I am delighted to report that we are bucking the trend.
“This is testament to the huge strides the company has made in recent years – in particular with the continued growth and success of our cleaning and vending services.”
The company today also heralded the early success of its recently launched new retail brand – Fed & Watered café/bar – at The Obel in Belfast. This follows the first Fed & Watered unit which opened at Belfast International Airport earlier this year, representing a brand investment of almost £1M.
The company intends developing this brand throughout Northern Ireland, and negotiations are at an advanced stage regarding the first Fed & Watered to be launched in GB.
While renowned for its catering prowess across the island of Ireland and in GB The Mount Charles Group’s business and industry, health, vending, retail, cleaning and education divisions are making an increasing contribution to the business.
Speaking about the rebrand Mr Annon said; “While on the surface it appears a subtle change, including the word ‘Group’ in our name typifies the strategic positioning of the company as a leading provider of a diverse range of services in Northern Ireland.
“The new identity more accurately reflects the current reality and broader ambition of our business. The services market is now expecting suppliers to be multi-service focused and we have responded to this challenge.
“In the early days the company concentrated almost exclusively on catering and therefore it was natural for the company’s trading name over time to become synonymous with that. But we have evolved and today we encompass so much more.”
And he added; “Not many people are aware that we are behind retail outlets such as Fed & Watered café/bars, St George’s Market Bar and Grill, Belfast and other blue chip venues such as the Waterfront Hall and the Theatre At The Mill, Newtownabbey.
“Although catering remains a core part of our business,” he said, “cleaning is a rapidly increasing revenue stream, as we have recently secured a significant portion of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Cleaning Contract. We are also one of the largest vending companies in Northern Ireland, with an expanding fleet of vehicles covering the entire province.
“The new name recognises the journey we’ve made in the last 25 years yet is forward-looking and gives value to the much wider remit of our activities.”
Mr Annon said it is an exciting time for the company having achieved their strategic growth plan, and he expects this trend to continue – the main growth being generated within the group’s non-catering activities.
“These are no doubt difficult and challenging times but our business model has weathered the recession well, and will continue to do so, because its central premise is to drive out cost efficiencies whilst maintaining service standards,” he explained. “Our clients understand that outsourcing their services to The Mount Charles Group allows them to release valuable time to concentrate on their core business activity. Dealing with a single supplier for a range of support services not only generates cost savings but also increases productivity.”
Recognised as a Top 50 company by Ulster Business Magazine, The Mount Charles Group has built a strong reputation over the last 25 years throughout Ireland and increasingly in GB and was appointed one of the Top 20 Best Managed Companies in Ireland in 2010 by Deloitte.