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Paper maker Swan Mill in Swanley looks for takeovers after growth in Asian markets

By Chris Price

A napkin and Christmas cracker maker is eyeing potential takeovers after growth in Asian markets.

Bosses at paper manufacturer Swan Mill in Swanley, which trades as Swantex, are feeling confident after turnover increased 4% to £56.4m, its latest accounts show.

Although UK sales fell 2% to £44.7m in the year to the end of March 2017, international sales more than made up for this with a 29% rise to £11.8m.

Swan Mill makes paper products like napkins and Christmas crackers

Swan Mill makes paper products like napkins and Christmas crackers

Pre-tax profits slipped 2% to £4.6m but bosses said its Swantex Asia division had another good year, as did its subsidiaries Castleview Enterprises and Ling Design.

In his company report, finance director Graham Rogers said the business was “capitalising on the synergies and cross selling opportunities”.

He said: “The directors believe the extremely low gearing and strong cash flows of the business would support further capital investment and acquisitions and will continue to assess the market with a view to capitalising on any well positioned opportunities as they arise.”

Established in 1892, Swan Mill is based on a five-acre site and employs about 280 people.

The company once again contributed £660,000 to its defined benefit pension fund as it continues a four-year recovery plan to address a £2.2m deficit in its scheme, which was closed to new entrants in 2003. It expects to contribute £700,000 this year.

It paid a dividend of £1m, the same as the previous year.

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