Rational sold €189m (£151m) worth of combination ovens in Europe during the first nine months of 2014 — a 15% increase on the previous year that was heavily driven by primary school orders in the UK.
The value of combi ovens that the company shifted up until the end of September marks an impressive €24m (£19m) rise on the €165m (£132m) of business it did in Europe in the corresponding period last year.
The figure was revealed in the latest quarterly results that Rational published, with the brand revealing that much of the European growth came from outside its native Germany. Domestic sales still grew, but at 8% it was at almost half the rate of the overall continental business
Rational doesn’t usually single out individual markets in its financial reports, however it saw fit to praise the company’s UK arm for the thousands of units it shifted on the back of the UIFSM free schools meal scheme this summer.
The company had prepared for the huge uptake of orders from UIFSM by planning its factory volumes accordingly and ensuring access to local stocks.
CEO Dr. Peter Stadelmann said the UK market’s performance was “especially positive”.
He told investors: “Both regional and project business are doing very well here. Project business benefited from a law passed in February this year, which guarantees all pupils in reception (years 1 and 2) a free school lunch. This prompted many schools to equip their kitchens and choose our appliances to do so.”
Meanwhile, overall sales for the nine-month period increased 7% to €353m (£282m) year-on-year, with the strong performance in Europe masking a decline in business in the Americas and Asia.
There was cheer for sister brand Frima, too, after it registered growth of 19% during the first nine months 2014.
Stadelmann said the business was on track to meet its targets for the year. “Due to the positive company’s development in the first nine months, we confirm our previous forecast of continued positive sales and earnings performance for the full fiscal year 2014.”