Rational shifted £450m worth of combi ovens last year

Rational combi ovens

Combi oven giant Rational’s global business is now worth almost £450m a year, recent financial results show.  

Annual results published by the manufacturer reveal that it made a record €564m (£447m) turnover in 2015, an increase of 14% on the previous year. The rise continues a remarkable run of year-on-year growth at the firm, which is famous for only producing one product line.

With the company generating around 40% of its business in foreign currencies, the weakening euro actually did Rational a favour last year. Without exchange rate adjustments, the sales growth would only have been 10%.

CEO, Dr Peter Stadelmann, said that all regions of the world contributed to the rise, but singled out the US for special attention.

“Our development work of the past two years is bearing fruit,” he said. “We are constantly improving in our ability to address the specific requirements of the market and our customers. As a result, we achieved a currency-adjusted increase in sales revenues of 22% in the past fiscal year in this important focal region, which is so important for us.”

Another high contribution to growth came from Asia, where revenues increased by 19%, while in its home market of Germany it grew the business by 14%. Overall European sales were up 9%, which was particularly impressive given that the prior year’s numbers included a huge boost from the UK free school meals programme.

Multifunctional cooking equipment business Frima, meanwhile, increased its turnover by 16% for the year, as it continued to build its presence in Europe.

Rational said that overall gross profit rose by 15% €349m (£227m) in 2015. “The slight year-on-year increase in the gross margin was due not only to greater efficiency in production, but also the positive development of exchange rates and raw material prices for us,” commented Stadelmann.

Operating costs rose somewhat disproportionately relative to sales revenues, mainly due to higher selling expenses as a result of expanded sales capacities, intensified marketing activities and higher commissions for sales partners due to improved business performance.

In addition, R&D costs for further developing products and services rose 23% in the year. Group earnings were recorded as €122m (£97m), outperforming the previous year’s figure by 11%.

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