COMPANIES: Cytora to KK Fine Foods

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on April 23, 2019, 9:00 am in News, Other

IMAGE: courtesy of Pixabay from Pexels



frozen food - seat belts

- AI underwriting -

cake decoration


Flintshire :: Buckinghamshire :: London :: Liverpool


KK Fine Foods £41.3m | Securon £3.9m Q1 | Cytora | Real Good Food £129.8m


News about 4 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 14th – 20th  April 2019:



KK FINE FOODS: frozen food - Flintshire


Leyla Edwards, founder of KK Fine Foods | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. April 14 2019

DZ profile: K K Fine Foods Limited

Business: frozen food maker. Customers include pub chain JD WETHERSPOON, IKEA and supermarkets ALDI, LIDL and WAITROSE.  Started At first Edwards focused on vegetarian food, lasagne and moussaka - selling mostly to independent restaurants and delis. Products now include cottage pies, curries and gluten-free pastries and pastas.

Launched: 1987

Location: 120,000 sq ft factory in Deeside, Flintshire, Wales

Founder: Leyla Edwards, 68, with her friend Rona Wood.

Staff: 300+. Son, Samir Edwards, Managing Director

Financials: In 2017, it made pre-tax profits of £2.3m on sales of £41.3m

Investment: After 9 years bought out Wood’s 50% stake. Sold a 90% stake to Belgian food giant TER BEKE in 2017, Edwards remaining as an “ambassador”. The deal would help KK open up European markets,

News: borrowed £2.5m from Bank of Wales to open her first factory in Deeside, where she did everything from cooking to packing pallets and driving fork-lifts.



SECURON: seat belts - Buckinghamshire


Manufacturers fear flipside of no-deal Brexit boom | Sylvia Pfeifer, FT. April 16, 2019

DZ profile:  Securon Limited

Business: family-owned UK company that manufactures seat belts and safety restraints for diggers, tractors and other off-road vehicles

Launched: 1974

Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Founders: Ronnie Proctor & late father O. A. Proctor

Staff: William John, director

Financials: record first-quarter turnover of £3.9m (Q1).

News: has been stockpiling components and ramping up production. At the end of January several customers in mainland Europe wanted to have six months’ worth of Securon products on the other side of the Channel in case of disruption at the border if the UK crashed out of the EU without an agreement on the originally scheduled Brexit date of March 29.



CYTORA: AI insurance underwriting - Shoreditch, London


London AI startup Cytora raises £25m from Swedish backer EQT Ventures | Emily Nicolle, City A.M. 17 April 2019

DZ profile: Cytora Limited

Business: provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to the commercial underwriting market in insurance: applies AI to data to better predict risk, ensure more transparent pricing and enable businesses to buy insurance online in less than a minute. Customers include Axa.

Launched: 2012

Location: Shoreditch, London

Founders: Richard Hartley, chief executive and Aeneas Wiener

Investment: spin out from Cambridge University in 2014. Today closed a £25m series B funding round led by EQT Ventures. Existing investors CAMBRIDGE INNOVATION CAPITAL and PARKWALK also participated in the round, as well as a number of angel backers. Will use the funding to expand internationally.



REAL GOOD FOOD: cake decoration - Liverpool


UK bakeries count on Easter treats to boost growth | Andy Bounds and Chris Tighe, FT. April 20, 2019

DZ profile: Real Good Food Plc

Business: It will now focus on its core brands of Renshaw, ready-made icing and marzipan, and Rainbow Dust Colours, used in cake decoration.

Launched: 2003

Location: Liverpool

Staff: Hugh Cawley, a turnround expert, chief executive since January 2018

Financials: Key Fundamentals to 31-Mar-18: Revenue £129.8m; Pre-Tax -£25.2m. In the year to September 30 revenue from continuing operations dropped to £30.4m from £31.9m. The pre-tax loss, stripping out exceptional items, was £2.8m (£3.4m last time). The shares have been on the slide since reaching 59p in November 2015 and are now about a tenth of that level. £2.8m of annual centralised costs cut.

Investment: AIM admission date 31 Aug 2005. Major shareholders NAPIER BROWN INGREDIENTS, OMNICANE INTERNATIONAL and DOWNING provided £34m in loans.

News: In the past year it has sold four subsidiaries, most of which were lossmaking, for a combined total of £18m: CHANTILLY PATISSERIE, which made frozen desserts; R&W SCOTT, a jam making business in Scotland; HAYDENS BAKERY, and GARRETT INGREDIENTS.