By the end of February, it had begun full operation at a new 5,850sqm warehouse in Dartford while doubling the size of both its Bristol facility to 3,250sqm and its North East hub in Washington to 1,020sqm.
While the expansion has been implemented due to the general increase in customer demand, group marketing director David Jones said that another key driver had been the firm's rapidly expanding footprint in the sign and display market, as well as packaging, which has led to the need to increase capacity, product ranges and headcount.
“Our business continues to grow; the market is tough but we are starting to focus on new areas too and a lot of this activity is based on our additional focus,” he said.
“In spite of the numerous external economic factors such as decreasing global demand for coated paper, the uncertainty of Brexit and now coronavirus impacting on the UK economy, Premier continues to grow in its key strategic development areas.
“Our Washington operation is a great example of achieving growth in a challenging market and our continued investment in the South West demonstrates confidence in the industry as a whole and our long-term commitment to our customers in the region.”
As part of the development, Premier is shutting down its small Cheltenham-based satellite logistics hub in the South West. The three employees based at the site have been offered positions at the newly expanded Bristol operation, which now has a 10,000 pallet capacity and will take on its workload.
Investment in people has continued to be key to Premier’s expansion, and Phil Trudgeon’s recruitment as area sales director in Bristol marks the sixth new position created at the site in the past two years.
Activity in Dartford is significant to the wider Premier operation due to the range of display-based products and the conversion facilities onsite. It carries wide-format roll and large-format sheet media alongside foam boards, aluminium composite material and acrylic sheets. The site also recently installed a Striebig vertical panel saw for the conversion of rigid products.
With a turnover last recorded at circa £233m, Premier Paper employs 472 people across its UK operations. Its headquarters are based in Minworth, Birmingham. It launched its new sign and display division, Display Graphics, in April last year.