Stephens posts record turnover

Stephens Catering Equipment has a very solid financial footing.

Broughshane-based Stephens Catering Equipment has published a set of very positive financial results for the 12 months to 30 April 2017, according to the latest publicly available Companies House filing.

The Northern Ireland-headquartered distributor has grown its turnover by 22% to over £15.9m from 2016’s £13.1m. This marks the highest ever total for the firm.

Operating profits are also on the up, at £569,000, 67% larger than £340,000 posted in the previous year, which in itself was a massive 143% growth from 2014-2015’s £140,000.

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The trend was upwards for gross profit too, with the 2016-2017 figure of £4.6m an 18% increase from 2016’s £3.9m.

The firm’s annual report stated: “The key risks to the business in the future relate to competition from other suppliers and the demand from the catering industry, including government departments. The directors are confident that their customer service record is such that the company can compete successfully in the current economic climate.

“The board of directors are aware of the financial risks arising from liquidity, credit and exchange rate issues. They regularly review the financial position of the company and implement controls to reduce any exposure in these areas.”

Stephens has branches across Northern Ireland, in Belfast and Broughshane, and in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland. The distributor has a big presence in Ireland too, with offices in both Maynooth and Donegal.

Originally part of the long established Stephens Suppliers Group, catering equipment was established as its own division in 1971. Thomas and Elizabeth Caves took over ownership of this division in 1977 and renamed the company following its long tradition Stephens Catering Equipment. The business still continues to be family run, with Julie Morrissey and Paul Caves heading up the company.

In 2016 the kitchen house added new showrooms and test kitchens to its Belfast and Broughshane offices. Plus it invested £250,000 in new machines in its fabrication plant.

Projects in recent years include a sixth outfit for Google, in its Dublin offices, as well as a scheme for Microsoft in Dublin, and an induction kitchen for Ramore Restaurants’ Neptune & Prawn, in Portrush.

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