7. JESTIC LIMITED

Jestic is the largest supplier on this list that doesn’t have its own manufacturing facilities — instead its business is built around the exclusive UK distribution relationships that it has secured with some of the leading catering equipment brands in the world.

The Kent-based outfit, which also runs its own service and maintenance operation, is renowned for its market development expertise and that has led to brands such as Henny Penny, Wood Stone, Josper and Vitamix working with it for many years and using the company as their conduit for UK sales and support.

Meanwhile, the addition of brands such as Winston CVap, Edge Ovens and Alfa Pro to the portfolio have fleshed out its offering in specialist segments of the cooking market and provided it with new revenue potential.

2017 proved to be a solid year for the business, with profitability returning to the levels seen prior to 2016 as a result of adjustments made to pricing and overheads following the EU referendum.

Operating profit rocketed from £559,000 to £2.8m year-on-year during the 12 months to 30 September 2017, leaving the company with a net profit of £1.8m versus £377,000 a year ago. Turnover inched up 6% to £21.9m.

Directors at the company, which has invested heavily in expanding its in-house demo kitchen facilities and showroom, said they were satisfied with the financial performance and noted that for the current year they have taken a more cautious approach to exposure to foreign exchange fluctuations by committing to forward contracts protecting a minimum price for their currency requirement.

2017 Vital Statistics

Turnover: £21.88m (+6%)
Operating profit: £2.33m (+324%)
Employees: 93 (98)
Ownership: The ultimate controlling part of the company is M R Beesley Esq.
Financial year end: 31 September

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