Yorkshire-based Thornton & Ross (T&R), a pharmaceutical manufacturer, has officially unveiled a new multi-million-pound high-speed production line which will increase capacity for its Zoflora disinfectant brand.
It is the first major investment from its German parent company STADA and forms part of Thornton & Ross’ new Centre of Excellence. Zoflora has been on a growth trajectory for over a decade, achieving 54% market share by value and 51% by volume, with growth continuing to soar in the first quarter of 2020.
With the existing facility producing sixty million bottles of Zoflora each year, the new technologically advanced 600m2
bottling and filling line has increased output by 100% to 18,000 bottles an hour, which will enable the opening of new distribution outlets.
Mark Kirkup, Thornton & Ross vice president of UK operations, said: “The new high-tech line means T&R is now in a privileged position to satisfy the considerable increase in demand for Zoflora, which has been driven further by Covid-19 in recent months.
It simply would not have been possible to cater to this increased demand prior to the substantial investment from STADA. Getting the facility up and running so quickly was crucial, and made possible by our build partners, Haden Freeman and Hawkins Construction.”
Recent acquisitions, including 21 former GSK brands over the past 12 months, has not only given Thornton & Ross and its parent company a greater critical mass in Europe’s CHC (continuing health care) market - it has highighted STADA and T&R to be ideal homes for local and regional brands in need of attention, innovation and regeneration.
Roger Scarlett-Smith, executive vice president at Thornton & Ross, said: “STADA’s largest UK investment to date demonstrates its commitment to the Huddersfield site being a Centre of Excellence. As T&R’s 100th year in business approaches, we are building on that long heritage and combining it with new ideas to refresh well established brands.
“The launch of the new Zoflora line forms an integral part of T&R’s plans to expand, including the creation of 40 new permanent positions across the company. Our ultimate ambition, in line with the global STADA group, is to outpace the consumer healthcare industry in terms of both turnover and profitability.”
Thornton & Ross was due to hold an event to launch the new ‘state of the art’ production facility but due to Covid-19, it has been replaced with a digital only launch, including a series of videos which tell the story of the investment, the build and the inspiration and innovation of the Zoflora brand.
Sarah Fozzard, Thornton & Ross’ head of home hygiene, said: “Innovation comes not only in the traditional forms of product formulation and packaging, but also in terms of consumer insights and communications, so we work closely with our many brand advocates as well as non-users to develop new ideas.
Thornton & Ross is one of the largest companies in Huddersfield, employing over 500 people across 27 departments including manufacturing, packing, order processing, quality control and maintenance. Picture: Thornton & Ross