Rational smashes its own forecasts to record £300m in first-half sales

Commercial Kitchen Show 2016 Day One 16

Rational insists its latest financials show it does not rest on its laurels after first-half sales soared an impressive 17% year-on-year and customers responded “positively” to its push into compact combis and internet-enabled appliances.

Management said that its revenue growth had even exceeded its own expectations, as it booked sales of €331m (£299m) for the period.

In the UK, negative exchange rate effects meant that sales in the UK stayed at the previous year’s level. Much of the worldwide growth was down to a strong increase in orders from the American and Asian markets.

Since March, customers have been able to use its software application ‘Connected Cooking’ to network their appliances, control them remotely, update their software and transfer cooking programs. In May it launched the latest generation of its CombiMaster Plus range.

“Our entry level model now also has a self-cleaning function, which consumes fewer resources and ensures hygiene levels are maintained in day-to-day food preparation,” said CEO Peter Stadelmann.

“Time savings and the safe and simple operation of the cleaning function provide additional customer benefit. What is more, following the SelfCookingCenter XS, we have added the CombiMaster Plus XS to complement our product range.”

Stadelmann said the manufacturer’s objective remained to provide customers with the best possible benefits.

“We can only claim to have achieved sustainable success if we lighten our customers’ workload in the thermal kitchen environment or help them make lasting improvements to the way they work in the kitchen,” he commented.

Rational noted that EBIT margin held steady at a “consistently high” level of 26% after exchange rate adjustments during the first half. Against this backdrop, it recently raised its sales growth target for the full year to 11%-13% compared with the previous year. It has maintained its earnings forecast that the EBIT margin will be between 26% and 27%.

Net earnings for the first half of the year reached €64m (£58m), up 14% on the previous year.

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