Thompsons Feeds owner tops £1bn turnover

The Belfast-based owner of one of Europe’s largest multi-species feed mills has hit a landmark £1 billion (€1.14 billion) turnover for the first time.

Grain and animal feed mill W&R Barnett is best known locally for its Thompsons feed mill; however, the fourth-generation family business is also behind United Molasses and R&H Hall.

Its latest accounts, which were published earlier this month, saw turnover reach £1.1 billion (€1.25 billion) for the year ending July 2017.

It compares with £946 million (€1,079 million) made in sales in 2016.

Over the same period, profits also jumped by £10 million (€11.4 million) – from just over £36 million (€41 million) in 2016 to almost £46 million (€52 million) in 2017.

The group also donated more than £48,000 (€54,700) to charitable causes over 2017.

It comes on the back of a successful 2016, when pre-tax profits rose by 30% to £36 million (€41 million).


Readers will be aware that, in 2016, Thompsons acquired McLarnon Feeds; Moy Park’s ruminant feeds business.

The deal was said to enable a £1.2 million (€1.4 million) investment in McLarnon’s mill.

In December of last year, United Molasses – a subsidiary of the W&R Barnett group – purchased 72% of a Hungarian ruminant feed firm.

The growing firm currently employs 1,500 people.

Founded in 1896, the group has grown significantly from its origins as a grain merchant and expanded its operations to include a wide variety of enterprises, including: dry bulk commodities; derivatives; molasses; oils; feed mills; corrugated packaging; laboratory testing; and storage.

It comes as major rival Masons gets to work on plans to double its production capacity with a new blending plant at its site in Portadown, Co. Armagh.