Report unveils most profitable foodservice firms

Business advisory firm Zolfo Cooper has published a report identifying the fastest growing private foodservice companies by profit.

This year’s winner is Harbour & Jones, up two places from last year, with an impressive three-year profit CAGR of 46.5%.

Turnover has doubled in the last four years and Harbour & Jones seems set to meet its long-term goal of becoming a £45m business in the coming years.

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The company has had another stellar year with projects spanning the B&I and concessions space.
Having originally focused on the West End, the business has also had success in the City, launching
‘The Restaurant’ at St Pauls Cathedral and an award-winning restaurant ‘The Vaults’ at the RSA, showcasing an innovative,

Over the last few years H&J has strengthened its board and management team with the appointment of serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson (of Pizza Express and Patisserie Valerie fame) as a non-executive, and has continued to add seasoned experience across the business while expanding into the events space.

Turnover increased from £30.8m to £33m in 2013, almost double the figure achieved four years ago. The improvement in financial performance is most noticeable in the bottom line, where profits have soared from £1.1 million to £2.4 million over the last three years.

“Harbour & Jones continues to set standards for operators in the sector by combining an innovative food offering with consistently high service levels,” said Graeme Smith, partner of Zolfo Cooper Corporate Finance.

“It is clear that it has reaped the rewards with a three-year profit CAGR of 46.5%. Delivering this level of growth with strengthening comparatives is no mean feat and it appears the business remains on track to hit its growth targets in the years to come.”

Zolfo Cooper claimed some key trends emerged from the report. This includes the increasing importance of brand recognition, the diversification of operators into complementary services such as front-of-house, venues and event management, and a renewed appetite among operators to invest in their businesses on the back of improving market conditions.

The top 5 fast-growing foodservice companies by profit:

1. Harbour & Jones
£33m (sales) £2.4m (profit) 46.5% (three-year profit CAGR)

2. The Crown Group
£33.1m (sales) £5.1m (profit) 43.3% (three-year profit CAGR)

3. Dine Contract Catering
£23.3m (sales) £1.5m  (profit) 42.7% (three-year profit CAGR)

4. Vacherin
£11.5m (sales) £0.7m (profit) 37.5% (three-year profit CAGR)

5. The Brookwood Partnership
£32.7m (sales) £2.4m (profit) 28.2% (three-year profit CAGR)

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