Chinese food manufacturer’s growth ambitions unlocked with invoice finance

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  • Business: Ming Foods Ltd
  • Location: Swanley, Kent 
  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Funding: £300,000 
  • Turnover: £2.2 million

Since 2005 Ming Foods Ltd has produced Chinese pancakes which it supplies to restaurants and food manufacturers across the UK and internationally. In 2010 its funding facility was removed which proved to be a real hindrance to the business’s growth potential. Tired of being unable to pursue its ambitions and facing a cashflow crisis, Ming Foods approached Bibby Financial Services (BFS) in 2015 to help fund the business with an invoice finance facility.

The BFS funding has helped secure the future of the business and made sure that the 28-strong workforce can continue to produce market leading pancakes to customers from Las Vegas to Cyprus. From its new factory in Swanley, Kent, the business currently produces three million pancakes a week, totalling 1500 tonnes of products a year. The business has more than doubled in eight years, with a turnover of £1 million in 2008 rising to £2.2million in 2016.

Sam Duong, CEO of Ming Foods said: “In the past, it was tough to raise the capital we needed to grow the business and realise the potential that we believe it has. However, both funding and expertise from BFS have relieved the cashflow pressure we faced and has allowed us to think about growth and innovation rather than survival. 

“The team at BFS were able to step in when we needed them, providing funding in just three weeks. Now our ambition is to be a UK based business selling Chinese food products to China and our ongoing funding has brought us one step closer to achieving this goal.”

With funding in place the company owners are planning to grow the business even further by innovating in new manufacturing methods to expand capacity and unlock growth. To do this, Ming Foods is seeking to develop new ways of using excess pastry to create new products and achieve a target of zero waste manufacturing.

Javairya Raja, Relationship Manager, Bibby Financial Services commented: “It’s clear that Ming Foods is an innovative business with significant future growth potential. But even a small manufacturer with a proven track record can find it hard to invest and grow without adequate financing.

“When Ming Foods approached us they were facing a funding shortfall that placed immense pressure on their cashflow. Now this ambitious team has moved to a larger production facility in Swanley to grow its capacity to sell more products, which shows how far the business has come.

“This is a fantastic example of how invoice finance can unlock cashflow from within a business, helping its management team to focus on achieving its growth ambitions.”

Sam added: “Our priorities for the future are to build upon our improved productivity and efficiency at our new Swanley factory and to drive down operating costs whilst expanding our production. We could never have dreamt of doing this without a strong funding partner that understands our business. The team at BFS has taken the time to understand our business and the people behind it. This relationship approach to funding is the reason we chose to partner with BFS.”