CBL’s Pathway to expansion

CBL Drinks' Chris Rees (left) and Jules Young-Hawley, from The Northern Path
CBL Drinks' Chris Rees (left) and Jules Young-Hawley, from The Northern Path
Have your say

A Sunderland manufacturing company that has tripled its turnover in four years has revealed further expansion plans.

CBL Drinks reached a record £12million turnover and produced more than 52.5 million bottles in 2015. The company employs 70 staff at its plant in Riverside Road, Southwick, has invested more than £4million in equipment in the last two years and is planning to invest in a fourth bottling line.

The firm provides services to supermarkets and cash and carries, and also has its own range of brands and supplies to supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, Booker and Home Bargains via its own 42,000 sq ft warehouse at Sunrise Enterprise Park.

Operations director Mark Bell said: “There is currently high demand for flavoured zero-sugar spring water, and our Perfectly Clear brand has recorded double-digit growth year-on-year. We are aiming for 20 per cent growth in 2016.

“We have an expanding customer base with more high street shops coming on board. Now is the right time to promote Perfectly Clear so more people know about the brand.”

Councillor Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “CBL Drinks is a real Sunderland success story and it’s fantastic to see the company’s expansion, which benefits our wider economy in the city.”

CBL turned to software solutions specialists The Northern Path for help with its expansion.

Commercial Manager Chris Rees explained: “The systems and processes we had in place were fine for a company half the size, but we’d outgrown them.

“The systems we had could no longer cope with the numbers we were processing, in terms of stock control, distribution, logistics, accounts and payroll.

“The Northern Path came in and quickly understood our challenge.”

The Northern Path’s Jules Young-Hawley said: “CBL Drinks were a great company to work with – they had a clear idea of what solution they were looking for and knew exactly what information they wanted a software solution to provide.”