The top 10 largest suppliers and manufacturers in the UK catering equipment market stood firm in the face of Brexit-fuelled economic pressure to collectively post annual sales of £620.52m last year, FEJ can exclusively reveal.
The haul, which represents the first time that the industry’s 10 largest suppliers by turnover have surpassed the £600m revenue mark, represents year-on-year growth of 9.5%. Incidentally, the previous year (2016), the top 10 posted growth of 11%.
The numbers were compiled for FEJ’s annual ‘State of the Nation’ report, which documents the fortunes of the largest suppliers based on the latest accounts filed with Companies House.
Last year we estimated that the top 10 players were responsible for more than 60% of equipment sales in the UK and the current numbers for the period ending 31 December 2017 suggests the situation has not changed this time around.
Remarkably, despite unprecedented downward pressure on operating margins, largely due to the devaluation of sterling and unavoidable increases in operating costs, the top 10 grew operating profits by 22% year-on-year to £49.91m, with only two companies reporting losses. One manufacturer did, however, contribute 35% of that profit figure after a record-breaking year.
The top 10 only comprises companies whose core business is to manufacture or supply branded heavy duty catering equipment to operators, primarily through a third party intermediary such as a dealer.
The full report will be published online next week.