Mash Direct, the family-owned food company based in Northern Ireland, has reported a sevenfold increase in operating profits to just under £1.9m (€2.2m) for its 2019 financial year, as operating profit margins expanded to a very healthy 8.5%.

The business also reported double-digit sales growth of 20% as turnover hit £22m (€26m).

Recently filed accounts show Mash Direct reported earnings (EBITDA) of just under £3m (€3.5m).

The company had net debt of just over £6.6m (€7.6m) at year-end, meaning its borrowings to earnings ratio is just over 2.2 times.

Employing over 200 staff, Mash Direct was established in 2004 by Martin and Tracy Hamilton on their family farm and has grown rapidly after winning supply contracts to the likes of Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison’s.

The company paid dividends of close to £450,000 (€520,000) last year to the Hamilton family.

Mash Direct continues to invest heavily in new products, with just under £1m (€1.1m) invested in 2019 on R&D projects.

At year-end 2019, the business had a net assets of £3.6m (€4.2m).