3. WELBILT UK LIMITED

While 2017 was a challenging year for the industry, you wouldn’t know it from Welbilt’s financials.

The company responsible for commercial cooking equipment brands such as Merrychef, Garland and Convotherm almost doubled its operating profit to £17.6m as turnover swelled a healthy 10% to £84.9m.

Gross margin rose from 30% to 36% year-on-year, while operating margin increased seven percentage points to 20%, augmenting a solid set of KPIs for the company’s Guildfordbased UK subsidiary.

Welbilt still operates a significant UK manufacturing operation — notably the production of Merrychef ovens — and a large proportion of its revenue comes from exporting those to different markets around the world.

52% of company turnover (the equivalent of £44m) last year was linked to the UK, while 25% originated from EMEA. The rest was derived from Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

Welbilt directors said the business benefitted from both organic growth and roll-out expansion by major food chains together with continued investment in new products.

Welbilt bosses will be particularly pleased that the business was able to increase turnover without increasing its costs last year.

Net headcount grew by just two during the year, while administrative expenses fell by nearly £1m to £4.2m, a good indicator of strong cost management.

2017 Vital Statistics

Turnover: £84.90m (+10%)
Operating profit: £17.27m (+79%)
Employees: 286 (284)
Ownership: The ultimate parent company is Welbilt Inc, incorporated in the US.
Financial year end: 31 December

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