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Industrial group ITW saw its run of year-on-year growth come to an end in 2018 as sales slipped by £4m, but it still remains a powerful force in the UK thanks to a turnover of £844m and an operating profit of £125m.

Around 40% of its revenues come from royalties alone. Foodservice equipment is the part that we are interested in and accounts show that it contributed just shy of £195m in sales during 2018, a 4% decrease having cleared £203m the year before.

At that point in time, kitchen equipment ranked as ITW’s largest division in the UK, but the sales reduction, coupled with a growth in orders from its test and measurement and electronics arm, saw it usurped last year.

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Still, the unit – which predominantly comprises cooking equipment, warewashing and services from Hobart and refrigeration from Foster and Gamko – still generates a good £70m more in annual sales than the next largest player in this report.

Operating profit, unfortunately, is not broken down to a divisional level anymore and so it is not possible to accurately state how the business fared on that front.

The last time that detail was disclosed was five years ago, when it revealed that foodservice equipment operating profits were 21% of turnover but market conditions have changed markedly since then, so it would be impractical to speculate.

The big news since its 2018 finances were published is that Hobart has aligned its warewash and cooking division into a single sales and administration operation known as the ‘Hobart Equipment Division’.

The restructuring has created a more effective sales force to increase and improve the number of active sales contacts across the whole market.Vital Statistics

Turnover: £194.85m (-4%)

Operating profit: Not reported on a segment level

Employees: 2,233 (2,322). Note that this is an overall ITW Limited figure

Directors that served during the year: G Hudson, S Rowell

Ownership: The company’s immediate parent company is Berrington UK. The ultimate parent company and controlling party is Illinois Tool Works, incorporated in the US.

Financial year end: 31 December 2018


Tags : catering equipmentFoodservice equipmentITWreportState of the Nation
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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