Caterer defies falling oil and gas prices to build kitchens overseas

Entier

Scotland’s largest independent privately-owned catering company is preparing to grab a bigger slice of international markets after securing an additional £6.5m in investment.

Westhill-based Entier plans to expand its overseas operations, building on its existing work at 38 remote locations in 23 countries.

The business already has a presence in Australia, Canada, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States, and last year picked up a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

Revenues grew by 13% in the year to 30 September 2016 to £45m despite the industry downturn in the prices of oil and gas, with pre-tax profits rising by 72% to £1.5m.

More than 4,500 people on oil and gas rigs and other remote installations around the world are served meals each day by Entier’s 760 staff, along with receiving hotel services such as cleaning, laundry, recreational and welfare services and with an emphasis on wellbeing and healthy eating.

Chief executive Peter Bruce founded Entier in 2008 after running similar services for catering giant Compass, with Aberdeen businessman Mike Reilly, former proprietor of the Olive Tree Restaurant in Aberdeen’s west end.

On the £6.5m funding from BGF, Bruce said: “I’ve said in the past that I want to grow Entier into a £100m company and, with the backing of BGF, I believe we could do far better than that. While the price of oil and gas remains low, offshore operators are keeping a keen eye on cost, which presents opportunities for companies like Entier because we are big enough to deliver large contracts, but small enough to work with clients to offer bespoke services on their offshore installations.”

He added: “An army marches on its stomach, and we focus on delivering high quality, healthy and nutritious food to offshore workers, to play our part in improving productivity and reducing costs.”

Back onshore, Entier has developed the Fresh chain of cafés situated across Aberdeen as well as providing catering and hospitality services in 20 client offices including Stork, Helix and Archer.

The company also recently acquired Wilde Thyme, the Perthshire-based catering firm, which runs the restaurants at Glamis Castle in Angus and the Glenturret Distillery in Perthshire, home to the Famous Grouse whisky brand.

In addition to its permanent premises, Wilde Thyme is the caterer of choice at various venues including the new Barn @ Bara Castle in Aberdeenshire & Carlowrie, Cluny and Drumlanrig castles. Wilde Thyme is the only hospitality company that can cover all of the National Trust Sites in Scotland.

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