Blanco beats slide in exports to post growth

Commercial kitchen supplier Blanco Professional has posted a turnover of €114m (£99m), marking a 3% improvement on the previous 12 months.

The Germany-based company had its domestic performance to thank for the growth after admitting that export sales, which account for close to 40% of its business, suffered a “slight decrease” in 2012.

Friedrich Schock, CEO of Blanco, which employs 760 staff and also produces systems for the medical sector, said that the results were “satisfactory” in view of the euro crisis.

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He said the firm remains committed to its core business and has invested €4.7m (£4m) in its production facilities to make them faster and more flexible.

It has purchased a 5-axis laser machine and new welding robots as part of the investment.

In the catering sector Blanco supplies items such as trolleys, cabinets and basins and is represented in the UK by a distribution office in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

Schock took over as CEO this time last year and one of his first acts was to change the company name from Blanco CS to Blanco Professional in a bid to make it clear that the latter acts exclusively in the B2B sector, in contrast to the B2C sister company Blanco.

“Blanco Professional means we want to be an innovative, strong, reliable partner to our customers — from clever system solutions to demanding engineering. We want to communicate that very clearly," he said.

The repositioning of the business has also seen the catering equipment business unit bcome more closely integrated with subsidiaries SG Stahl Grosskuechen and Kugel Edelstahlverarbeitung, both of which it has acquired in the past three years.

Custom-tailored stainless-steel furniture and food serving counters from SG Stahl are now sold directly via Blanco Professional. SG Stahl continues production in the area of individual cooking blocks directly under its own name and for OEM customers.

Kugel, meanwhile, produces galley kitchens for clients in the travel sector, as well as cabinets.

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