(Posted on 18/11/15)

Roberts Mart & Co Ltd has invested £2million in new equipment, leading to the creation of 16 new jobs, at the company’s Leeds-based production facility to meet the growing demand from all industry sectors for its high performance packaging films.

The multi-million pound investment package in its Aire Valley factory represents another boost by Roberts Mart for employment in the area. The successful family-run firm has purchased the BOBST 20SIX eight colour printing press - the latest in printing technology for the flexible packaging industry - a Nordmeccanica Super Simplex Laminator and Proslit Slitter Rewinder.

One of the UK powerhouses of the flexible printing and packaging industry, the business currently employs around 170 people across both its sites in Leeds. Once fully implemented the latest investment is expected to increase the workforce to 190.

Roberts Mart’s Sales Director, Ben Roberts, said: “It has been a busy year for the company. This significant investment in new equipment is possible because we have a healthy order book – with a good number of new orders coming through the pipeline as well. We are seeing growth across the board, particularly food where we are seeing much more opportunity in snacks and confectionery.

“Normally you would spread capital expenditure out over a period of time but the amount of new business we are winning dictates that this time it has been made all at once. The slitter is in place already, while the laminator and printing press are coming in during August.”

Central to the business’s latest investment is the new BOBST 20SIX Flexo Printing Press. Chosen by Roberts Mart for its print quality, ease of use and versatility, the Press can be used to accommodate print jobs for a variety of industry sectors, including food, beverages, pet food, supermarket own brand, bottled waters and textiles.

Capable of delivering the highest quality printing on any flexible packaging substrate, this addition to Roberts Mart’s equipment portfolio enables it to boost capacity, providing further benefits for its growing customer base.

This latest increase in capital expenditure takes Roberts Mart’s overall investment to just over £17.5m over the last 10 years, as the company has exploited new markets, whilst remaining at the forefront of the flexible packaging industry.

Roberts Mart was founded by William Roberts in 1852 and from paper merchanting, commercial printing and producing paper bags it has now developed into one of the UK’s leading specialist producers of high performance packaging films used in a variety of industry sectors including food, beverage and household textiles like duvets.

Co-directors William and Ben are sixth generation of the Roberts family to run the firm, following in the footsteps of their father and chairman John, who has recently been given an Outstanding Contribution award by the British Printing Industries Federation after over 50 years’ service with the company. He handed over the day-to-day management in 2009 to his two sons but remains active in the business.

Roberts Mart counts a number of household names among its customers and in 2005 it secured the much sought-after British Retail Consortium Institute of Packaging (BRC/IoP) accreditation.

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