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BREAKING NEWS: Nisbets smashes through £400m revenue barrier in 2019

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Nisbets is still the market leader, but with the size of the pie inevitably shrinking, it remains to be seen what share it can retain.

Catering equipment giant Nisbets has posted its group financial results for the 12 months to 31 December 2019.

Publicly available from Companies House, the annual report shows the firm generated a turnover of £414.2m, an increase of £16m and 4% on 2018’s £398.1m.

This is the first time Nisbets has broken the £400m turnover barrier, as it continues to cement its position as the UK’s leading catering equipment provider.

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However, operating profit for 2019 fell by 53% to £13.1m from the previous year’s £28.1m, with administrative costs increasing by £13.8m as the company continued to execute its long-term strategic vision for the business through increased investment in infrastructure, rapid product development, and its digital operation.

Nisbets feels its growth across 2019 reflects the strength its brand in the market for providing a product range that meet the ever-changing needs of hospitality providers.

The company continues to invest in its multi-channel approach and believes its long-term scalability is based on leveraging this key strength.

The group continues to expand its international market in key growth regions including Europe, China, and Australasia.

As hospitality providers continue to face a turbulent time due to Covid-19, Nisbets’ says its continued strength and performance is built on its agile business model, ability to swiftly adapt to market needs through rapid new product development, and entrepreneurial DNA.

However, the published accounts reflect the business’ performance before Covid-19 lockdown measures were implemented earlier this year.

Peter Sephton, vice chairman of Nisbets, said: “2019 was another year of growth and investment for Nisbets as we continued to implement our long-term strategic vision for the business. We made substantial investments in all areas of the company including in infrastructure, new product development, and our digital operation.

“Nisbets continues to remain the go-to supplier of products for hospitality providers worldwide, and this is due to our strong reputation in the market for supplying a wide range of quality products and excellent customer service.

“With the current uncertain market conditions, 2020 has been a challenging year for our customers. Our continued success is dependent on being best placed to fulfil the needs of hospitality providers through an agile business model and supporting our customers as they themselves continue to adapt to the new normal.”

In the report itself, chief financial officer Stephen Marshall stated: “The group demonstrated resilience to both the ongoing Brexit uncertainty and a flat eating-out market, and exited the year with good momentum. The subsequent impact of Covid has inevitably halted this progress but the business retains the range, service levels and customer relationships to support the hospitality sector as it re-emerges post-Covid.”

In terms of this year’s performance, he added: “The group traded in line with expectations for the first 2 months of 2020 until the outbreak of Covid-19. The commencement of lockdowns worldwide during March 2020 had a significant impact on the group’s customer base, particularly in the hospitality sector.

“In response to reducing revenue, the group focused on careful cash management, collaborating with suppliers to put in place appropriate payment terms and working with customers to understand and address the impact on cash receipts.”

Earlier this year, Nisbets restructured to decentralise its trading model and ensure its future in the face of the coronavirus impact, unfortunately shedding 437 jobs, though this was less than the 800 feared at the beginning of the process.

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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