Winterhalter eyes better gross margins and less low value business

Winterhalter UK bosses have turned their attention to gross margin improvement and curtailing low value business as they bid to ensure the operation returns to the black again.

Accounts filed with Companies House last week revealed the business suffered a net loss of £818,000 for the 12 months to 31 December 2017.

The deficit represents a significant turnaround in the warewashing equipment firm’s fortunes given that it was able to post a £400,000 profit the year before.

Winterhalter actually achieved an improvement in gross profit of 7% to £6.6m during the year, but higher administrative expenses and a £16,000 loss attributed to ‘fair value movements’ (versus a £1.5m profit for the same item the year before) appear to be the main factors for the swing.

Winterhalter declined to comment beyond what was already contained in the report when approached by FEJ.

Turnover at the Milton Keynes-based outfit reached £28.2m in 2017, slightly down by 2% from the £29.5m it recorded the year before, reinforcing its status as one of the two largest warewashing suppliers in the UK by turnover.

In the strategic review of the business accompanying the results, the company, which employs around 130 staff in the UK, focused on the increase in gross margin that it posted.

“The directors are satisfied with the gross margin achieved on reduced sales turnover. The directors consider the company’s performance to be good in the current economic climate. The improvement in gross margin is a direct result of the directors’ decision to replace low margin business with new opportunities yielding better margins.”

Looking ahead to future developments, the report stated: “The directors intend to continue the current strategy of growing the business by seeking opportunities which improve gross margins, and by reducing or curtailing low margin areas within the business.”

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