4. RATIONAL UK LIMITED

Rational prides itself on supplying more than half of all combination ovens sold in the UK and there is no doubt that its vast market share is reflected in the scale of its business.

Revenues in 2016 increased 3% to £50.4m, which is quite remarkable for a business that essentially markets just a single product line.

Bosses at the firm cite the private sector as the key to its long-term growth strategy, with that part of the market delivering a 9% uptick in revenues last year.Rational Turnover 2016

In contrast, its performance in the public sector was a “particular challenge” as austerity measures led to sales falling 19% year-on-year.

Gross margin at the firm fell 0.8% compared to 2015 as the market became more competitive and pricing become a key focus of end-customer purchasing organisations.

Operating profit fell from 5.2% to 4.3% as a result of the decrease in gross margin and slightly higher overheads from its expanded headcount and one-off costs associated with the integration of sister brand Frima.

For the record, Frima’s accounts are published separately and show that it made an operating profit of £21,000 on sales of £2.2m in 2016.Rational Operating profit 2016

In their strategic report, Rational’s directors stated that they are expecting “considerable growth” in 2017 due to the dual offer of the SelfCookingCenter, specifically the XS unit, together with the Frima VarioCooking Center.

This year has also seen Rational invest in added headcount, marketing and a new development kitchen at its UK headquarters in Luton.

2016 Vital Statistics

Turnover: £50.41m (+9%)
Operating profit: £2.18m (-14%)
Employees: 54
Ownership: The immediate and ultimate parent undertaking is Rational AG, incorporated in Germany
Financial year end: 31 December

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