Airedale Catering Equipment Group suffered financial losses of almost £1m due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the company said this week that it is seeing clear signs of recovery in the sector as customers reignite project work that was postponed during the crisis.
Since restrictions on the hospitality sector were eased, business has rapidly bounced back for the Bradford-based outfit, which provides design, installation, maintenance and fabrication services to hospitality operators.
Annual accounts published this week show the financial impact that the pandemic has had on the organisation, which is the largest kitchen house in the UK by turnover.
The company reported losses of £936,000 for the year to 31 December compared with a £1.04m profit the year before.
Sales tumbled 16% from £43.9m to £36.8m in the same period, which the company said was entirely down to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its customers.
However, it mitigated the sales decline by utilising the government’s furlough scheme and implementing a series of internal cost reduction initiatives.
The accounts show that the group submitted a claim to recover losses totalling £2.8m under its business interruption policy and received an interim payment of £1m in April 2021.
Rob Bywell, chief executive of Airedale, said the measures that the business took last year had given it the necessary resilience to recover in 2021 and there were clear signs that the market is bouncing back.
He commented: “Clearly performance in the year was impacted by the pandemic and the restrictions on the hospitality sector. However, the business recovered sharply in the third quarter last year and thereafter has continued to track in line with expectations.
“We are delighted to see a strong recovery in the sector. All our clients are now actively pushing forward with their development plans. Airedale has a strong platform and with Rubicon as our investment partner we are looking forward to pushing forward with an exciting growth agenda.”