In 2015, after a number of years of disappointing returns, the Group entered a transformation phase with a new management team driving a fresh strategic direction. This transformation will optimise McBride's activities, maximising its market‑leading position and size to deliver scale advantage for value creation and development of growth opportunities.
A number of developments in McBride's markets means that McBride's scale and geographic spread will be ever more a key part of market supply and growth. These developments include consolidation of retailers in many parts of Europe, the emergence of the discounter retailers with their private label offer, the drive by many established retailers to simplify their product ranges and supplier base and, additionally, increased outsourcing activity by the brand owners. Our scale will allow us to maximise these opportunities for growth.
The Group has well established market positions in all of Europe's major economies and supplies its products to a very wide range of customers including virtually all of Europe's leading retailers. Extensive product ranges for both Household and Personal Care permit our customers to source most key products from a reliable, reputable and long‑standing supplier. The Group has manufacturing and product development facilities across Europe which aligned with our commercial activity to the specific regional market requirements allows for customer focus whilst we continue to maximise synergies between our operating activities.
McBride's extensive network of manufacturing locations and assets offers unrivalled capacity and capability to both retailers for private label and branders for outsourced manufacturing. The market dynamics offer further opportunities which will require targeted investments into our key sites. These investments, aligned with our selective market and product offering, will allow for a substantial improvement in our cost competitiveness and operational excellence.
As a well invested manufacturing business, McBride has the capacity for significant cash generation as profits continue to improve. In spite of the ambition to outspend depreciation in the next four to five years, the business will generate good cash flows to provide the opportunity to return funds to shareholders, look for additional investment options and further reduce our borrowings.