Hoshizaki Europe enjoyed a strong year in 2018 as it navigated a series of manufacturing challenges to record a 9% increase in turnover to £25.5m following growth in all geographic sectors.
The revenue hike was achieved despite adverse exchange rate movements amounting to £355,000 due to the strengthening of sterling against most trade currencies in 2018.
Although the UK HQ for Hoshizaki and its refrigeration brand Gram is in Kent, the company’s manufacturing operations are based in Telford, where it builds ice machines that are shipped into markets all over the world.
Sales to the European region, specifically, continue to be buoyant with significant volume growth underpinning higher sales.
It also happens to account for the bulk of revenue generated from Telford, representing 70% of turnover.
Like many of its counterparts, preparations for Brexit have left a mark on the balance sheet.
Inventory days increased to 95, up from 76 the previous year, due to the need to maintain higher stocks to support inter-company trading partners and mitigate supply chain delays in the run-up to the UK’s departure from the EU.
Hoshizaki, which prides itself in offering one of the greenest product portfolios around, was still able to improve manufacturing productivity to 68.3% despite direct labour shortages in the summer of last year and the reduction in the availability of EU citizens linked to Brexit.
Turnover: £25.48m (+9%)
Operating profit: £1.17m (+11%)
Employees: 115 (109)
Directors that served during the year: S Ochiai, Y Fukuma, J Brooks
Ownership: The ultimate parent company is Hoshizaki Corporation, a public company registered in Japan.
Financial year end: 31 December 2018