Nisbets defies market pressures to post record £380m turnover

Nisbets has extended its position as the UK’s largest supplier of catering equipment after accounts filed with Companies House this week revealed its turnover grew 18% to £380.3m last year.

The haul means that the Bristol-based outfit added almost £60m worth of revenue to its top line versus the previous year’s figure of £321m, endorsing its multi-channel sales strategy and lively acquisition programme.

Profit during the year to 31 December reached £35.7m, up 4% from £34.3m the previous year, making it one of the most profitable organisations in the industry.

Nisbets has opened dozens of retail stores in the last few years to expand its market coverage, while investment in its online capabilities has seen web orders soar. It has also bought businesses such as Space Catering, Mitre Linen and Rowlett Rutland, and opened a giant catering equipment showroom and demo kitchen facility close to its HQ in the South West.

Directors of the firm said in the financial report that they are “pleased” with the performance during the year and believe the business is in a strong position to sustain growth and expand market share in the medium term.

They acknowledged that current market uncertainty, coupled with investment in enhancing the company’s capabilities, would place some pressure on both top line and bottom line performance in the near term.

The growth in operations last year resulted in Nisbets taking on an extra 200 staff, increasing its headcount to more than 1,750 people. Administrative costs rose from £82m to £103m as a result.

The directors added that the strategy adopted during the year has been to continually build on the position that it has established in the UK, which accounts for the vast majority of its income.

“This strategy is based on already well-established products and service alongside development and expansion of the product range. To achieve future growth the directors are committed to maintaining a competitive pricing structure and are seeking to introduce and grow new sales channels to expand the customer base in the UK and Ireland,” they stated.

Klaus Goeldenbot was appointed CEO back in September 2017 and one of his remits is to develop the company’s international presence. Nisbets presently trades in France, Spain, Holland, China, Australia and New Zealand, but Mr Goeldenbot is looking at the viability of expanding that coverage.

Looking ahead to future developments for the business, the report stated: “It is the intention of the directors to undertake a more formal strategic review during 2018 in order to clarify longer term potential for geographic expansion and product range expansion and to prioritise future investment.”

Nisbets is a subsidiary of Key West (Holdings) Limited, which is owned by chairman and founder Andrew Nisbet and family.

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Klaus Goeldenbot, Group CEO, Nisbets

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