Top 10 UK kitchen houses: number 10

Acme’s turnover has grown steadily since 2010.

Squeezing in at number 10 in Catering Insight’s report into the top 10 UK kitchen houses is Acme Facilities Group.

The group’s set of results underlines broad, steady growth, with the servicing specialist experiencing a bit of a dip around 2015 in both turnover and profit margin, likely due to integrating three acquisitions in a short period of time.

It expanded into the heating and ventilation services market with the acquisition of DPL Service in 2014, while in 2015 it acquired Gloucester-based catering equipment maintenance provider, Severn Catering Services. The same year it also expanded its fabrication capabilities with the purchase of Burnley-based ventilation canopy manufacturer The Canopy Company.

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But its 2016 results showed that it bounced back significantly to an £11.2m turnover, 17% up on 2015’s £9.6m total, while operating profit staged a massive recovery from -£533,000 in 2015 to £78,297 in 2016.

And although not officially published yet, Acme stated that the full group provisional 2017 year-end results show a further 25% turnover growth. During last year the firm hired 15 new employees and invested in staff and facilities, with plans to expand both further in 2018.

Acme’s operating profit is recovering after taking a hit when it acquired several companies.

Being established in 1964, the Blackburn-based catering equipment services firm is over 50 years old. Beginning as H&H Refrigeration, then later as Acme Refrigeration, the scope of its business has changed tremendously since its formation. It originally specialised in refrigeration as its previous names suggest, but now has interests in catering equipment, kitchen design, fabrication and air conditioning.

However, its parent company since the 1980s has been Pentland Group. The business operates three separate office locations, with engineers situated around the country to deal with service, maintenance and installations. It employs more than 150 staff.

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