9. MEIKO UK LIMITED

Warewashing manufacturer Meiko’s UK sales increased 6% in 2017 — double the growth rate it achieved the previous year — as the business added more than £1m to its top line to achieve a turnover of £18.3m.

The increase was in part attributable to a growth in small machine sales, with the company declaring it a “reasonable” year given the economic climate.

Profitability was more of a challenge, however, as the devaluation of the pound from 1.17 in 2016 to 1.127 in 2017 piled pressure on the brand’s margins due to the fact that the majority of its warewashing equipment is purchased in euros from Germany.

While the company has been able to address this risk to a limited extent by the use of hedging instruments, it admitted that a prolonged weakness in sterling cannot truly be offset.

In its accounts for 2017, it also noted that any movement in the pound during the year cannot be reflected in the selling price as it is set at the beginning of the year, although it does try to minimise any adverse effect by the timing of payments, using judgement when the rates are most favourable.

As a result of the more turbulent conditions, the business fell into the red for the first time in four years.

Operating losses reached £704,000, compared with an operating profit of £282,000 the year before, while net losses for the year reached £577,000 versus a £227,000 profit in 2016.

2017 Vital Statistics

Turnover: £18.32m (+6%)
Operating profit: £704,418 loss (versus a £282,376 profit the year before)
Employees: 96 (91)
Ownership: The immediate parent undertaking and controlling undertaking is Meiko AngloAmerican GmbH, incorporated in Germany. The ultimate parent entity is a German foundation which is known as the Oskar und Rosel Meier-Stiftung Foundation.
Financial year end: 31 December

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