£13.6m pay day for Samworths
The family behind Leicestershire's biggest manufacturing company paid themselves £13.6 million last year.
Samworth Brothers, the Melton food giant which owns the Ginsters brand and Dickinson & Morris pies, made a pre-tax profit of £43.6 million in the year to December 31, according to the group's latest accounts.
Turnover rose 3.9 per cent to £744 million over the same period.
Accounts published yesterday by Companies' House, said the payment to the owners – the Samworth family, headed by company president Sir David – was in the form of an interim dividend.
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The dividend was 22 per cent lower than the previous year, with the pre-tax profit being 3 per cent down on 2010.
The group, which has eight factories in Leicestershire and is a major supplier to Tesco and other supermarkets, invested £28.4 million in the business during the 12-month period.
The group is expected to turn over about £800 million this year, and hopes to hit the £1 billion mark in 2014.
Samworth's produces pork pies, sandwiches, ready meals, desserts and cakes for major supermarkets, including Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Waitrose and Tesco, which accounts for half the business.
It employs 7,300 people, including about 5,000 in Leicestershire, making it the largest manufacturing business in the county.
The accounts also revealed total pay for the highest-paid director – likely to have been chief executive Brian Stein – was £702,000, half of what it had been the previous year.
Mr Stein, who was chief executive for 17 years, retired in April and was replaced by Lindsey Pownall, who joined in 1995 as an executive director.
A company spokesman said: "The performance and growth of the company in 2011 was satisfactory, particularly in current economic conditions.
"A main reason for this is Samworth Brothers strong commitment to investment.
"We have invested more than £140 million in capital projects to develop the business over the past five years, an average of more than £28 million a year.
"This is an investment level well above many similar businesses."