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Challenging market conditions dent Gratte Brothers turnover

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Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment’s recently completed project for Rocco Forte at Browns Hotel, London.

Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment has seen its financial results take a knock, due to continued market uncertainty.

In its latest annual report for the 12 months to 31 March 2019, publicly available on Companies House, it states that turnover slipped 13% from £11.9m to £10.3m.

Operating profit also fell 4% from a high of £72k in the previous 12 months, to the latest figure of £69k. However, operating profit margin did rise from 0.6 to 0.7.

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The kitchen design house’s directors wrote in the report: “The year to 31 March 2019 has been challenging, as expected in view of the global market and uncertain economic conditions. Turnover has decreased compared to the prior year, reflecting continued uncertainty in the construction industry and the impact of timing of contractual work in the year.

“The company is undertaking improvement works at its place of trade, and this is reflected in the increased capital expenditure in the year. The capital expenditure has been financed by both retained profits and from advances from the parent company.”

However, looking ahead, they stated: “The directors view the future positively, despite the ongoing economic, political and financial uncertainties. The company’s focus will continue to be on achieving sustainable and profitable revenue growth, maintaining its strong track record of delivering quality client service, and continuing to effectively monitor and control performance against contracts.”

MD Colin Barden told Catering Insight: “The 2018-19 period was undoubtedly affected by a lack of confidence within both the wider economy as well the catering market. As a business, we also continued our transformational journey focussed on being the ‘aspirational choice’ for customers within the commercial catering services industry.

“Significant investment during this period included a completely new digital service and maintenance software package. The new service system, supported by internal office changes and process improvements, allowed us to confidently re-start selling service and maintenance to new clients.”

He further detailed: “Amongst a number of successful project scheme installations, mobilisation works also started on the supply and install our largest ever kitchen project, with the revenue largely being realised within the 2019-2020 period.

“At a time of widespread low customer and economic confidence, Gratte Brothers have significantly invested in new facilities, technology and tools as well as developing its team and processes. We are pleased with our results and would like to thank our passionate team, suppliers and customers for their continuing support.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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