AFE Group represents the majority of Ali Group’s business in the UK and therefore provides a useful barometer of how the Italian catering equipment goliath is performing in what is one of its largest European markets.
Comprising Williams, Falcon, Mono, Millers Vanguard and Serviceline, AFE Group prides itself on running autonomous management and leaderships teams although its financial accounts are filed collectively.
Revenues last year climbed almost 5% to £123m following a 1% decline the year before, with the principal growth attributed to its Mono business, which supplies bakery equipment to customers around the UK.
AFE directors noted that 2017 delivered a year of “pleasing” sales growth despite some caution and changeable market conditions, which led to customers tightening their belts.
Operating profit dipped by almost £1.5m to £13.6m, but the prior year did include a non-recurring income of £2.5m related to an insurance claim.
With subsidiary company Falcon taking responsibility for the Lainox brand that was formerly distributed by the now-defunct Dawson MMP, and Serviceline picking up most of the service work that it left behind, AFE Group will likely benefit from the added scale it has acquired moving forward.
It is also firmly focused on adapting its products and business model to make sure it is in a position to take advantage of opportunities linked to minimum energy performance standards and refrigeration gases.
2017 Vital Statistics
Turnover: £123.55m (+4%)
Operating profit: £13.64m (-9%)
Employees: 1,260 (1,246)
Ownership: The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ali S.p.A.
Financial year end: 31 August