Swallowfield CEO Chris How gave members of the Wellington Business Association a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s factory recently. With around 300 employees the firm is the town’s second biggest employer and turns over around £50m a year.
Brands from Next to L’Oreal sell cosmetics and bodycare products made by Swallowfield. “We’re the magic behind a lot of very familiar products but most of the customers will never have heard of us,” said Swallowfield’s new CEO Chris How.
How was brought in nine months to turn the company around after a worrying downturn in profitability and the share price. “£51m sounds a lot of money but we hadn’t been making nearly enough profit on it,” he said. “We’re now heading in the right direction but there’s still a long way to go.”
The share price on the AIM market has recovered and Swallowfield should make a small profit this year, with a target of £3/4m in the medium term.
The visitors were fascinated to see a slide showing Gregory’s Chemist in the town’s High St, the family business that over 136 years became Aerosols International and later Swallowfield. The basic process of mixing chemicals to produce beauty products is pretty much what it has always been, said Chris.