British warewashing brand Classeq increases revenue to £17m

British warewashing brand Classeq posted a 9% increase in turnover to £16.7m last year, accounts filed with Companies House this week show.

Directors of the firm, which is part of the Winterhalter Group, said in the report that they considered the performance to be “good” given market conditions.

Although the company managed to increase its top-line in the year that it moved into a new state-of-the-art factory in Stafford, it did suffer a squeeze on profits.

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Operating profit for the year to 31 December 2017 reached £1.8m versus £2.4m the year before. Overall net profit declined from £2m to £1.5m.

The company stated in the report: “The directors are satisfied with the gross margin achieved on increased sales turnover. The directors consider the company’s performance to be good in the current economic climate. Turnover continues to grow steadily, both in home markets and exports, with all products contributing to this growth.”

David Smithson, chair of Winterhalter Group of Companies, maintains 2017 was a strong year for Classeq returning good growth alongside investment back into the business.

He told Catering Insight: “Our growth continued in 2017 with the opening of our new national hub and factory in Stafford representing significant investment back into the business to enable Classeq to continue and accelerate the journey of service excellence, expansion and product innovation into the future.

“As anticipated, administrative costs rose slightly in 2017, in line with investment into talent and infrastructure across many areas of the business.  Our new product pipeline is full and we have exciting times ahead as brand awareness of Classeq continues to grow alongside its reputation for ‘making warewashing simple’ and delivering great service.”

Classeq completed its move to a new production facility late last year. At the time the company said it hoped the investment would push it towards achieving a turnover closer to £20m in future, something which today’s results show it is on the way to doing.

Gary Jones, managing director, said last year: “To be honest we are at that stage in life where it was the right time to have our own base rather than renting a building or being part of some other existing building.”

He added: “We are doing 15,000 to 16,000 machines per year, but we can probably go up to 20,000 to 21,000 machines in this building. We have also bought an additional piece of land where we can extend by another thousand square metres, and that is going to take us into the 30,000-plus figure.”

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