Rational romps to record £366m turnover

Rational, the world’s biggest seller of branded combi ovens has revealed it made revenues of €497m (£366m) last year, an 8% improvement on the previous 12-month figure.

Overall sales of combi ovens increased by some €35m (£26m) compared to the previous year as the Germany-based manufacturer continued its impressive record of growth.

Europe was once again the mainstay of its expansion, with continental sales growth of 13% even outstripping the 8% rise it achieved in its own home market.

Dr Peter Stadelmann, CEO of Rational, said the UK market, where Rational emerged as one of the largest suppliers to the primary school free schools meals programme, was particularly buoyant.

“Apart from the overall positive trend, we benefited for example from a change in legislation in the UK, which pledges that every schoolchild in the first and second form will be given a cooked luncheon. That resulted in a positive special effect, since many school kitchens were fitted out with Rational equipment,” he said.

Earlier this year, Stadelmann visited Rational’s Luton HQ to present the UK team with an award for being the best-performing subsidiary in 2014.

One blemish on the manufacturer’s performance last year was the Americas and Asia, where business declined 3%. However, the company said it would have matched the previous year’s efforts if the figures were adjusted to reflect negative currency effects. It admitted that sales into chain accounts in those market, which traditionally fluctuate anyway, where down on the previous year.

In profit terms, overall company EBIT climbed 13% to €145m (£107m), while the EBIT margin rose to 29%.

Rational said it took on 83 people last year, taking its global headcount to 1,424. “Selective expansion of capacities in our global sales and marketing organisations and in research and development means that we’ve further improved our company’s future prospects,” said Stadelmann.

Rational didn’t given any detailed guidance of future earnings, but Stadelmann said the board was expecting “to continue its course of growth regarding sales volume, revenue and EBIT in 2015”.




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