Rational UK has posted record revenue for the 12 months ending 31 December 2017, according to the latest publicly available accounts published by Companies House.
Turnover totalled nearly £58m, up 15% from £50.4m the year before. Gross profit was on the up too, rising from almost £7m to £8.9m. However, operating profit slipped slightly, from £2.18m to £2.14m.
In the strategic report, directors Simon Lohse (UK MD) and Götz Sauer (executive vice president of Rational AG) stated: “Sales revenue grew by 15% in 2017 compared to 2016, driven in part as a result of the trade and assets acquisition of our sister company Frima UK, which accounted for 6% of this growth.
A further 2% came as a result of a full year impact of the SelfCookingCenter XS which was added to the product range at the end of 2016. This has allowed the business to expand into the café and coffee house market due to its small footprint whilst still maintaining the same high quality our customers expect from the Rational brand.”
The report additionally detailed that the remaining growth came from the established SelfCookingCenter business and that both public and private sector business showed equal growth.
The 1.4% rise in gross margin is cited as being due in part to the product mix and changes in pricing.
However, the directors also stated: “Operating costs rose by 40%, due in part to the integration of Frima UK into the business, with the majority of these costs being increased personnel in field sales, application and support functions within the organisation. Operating profit margin fell from 4.3% to 3.7% as a result of the increase in operating expenditure and investment.”
This investment was in part down to infrastructure projects in 2017 which saw the expansion of Rational UK’s head office in Luton, increasing the office space to twice the size with dedicated development kitchens, training areas, service area and increased staff areas.
Looking ahead, the directors said: “The forecast for 2018 is one of continued growth for the SelfCookingCenter range and a further acceleration of the VarioCookingCenter product range. Project and chain business is expected to drive growth with a stabilisation of public sector spending expected as a result of austerity.”
Rational is the fourth largest catering equipment manufacturer by revenue, according to the last FEJ State of the Nation report, below: