There was good news for Stevenage-based distributor Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment, as it returned to operating profit for the first time in 7 years, according to its latest annual report.
For the 12 months to 31 March 2018, the firm recorded an operating profit of £72.5k, rising by a massive 205% compared to the loss of £68.7k in 2017, while operating profit margin remained at 0.6%.
Turnover for the company reduced slightly by 3% to £11.9m from £12.3m.
Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment’s retiring financial director Ian Bass stated in the report: “The year to 31 March 2018 has been challenging, as expected in view of the global market and uncertain economic conditions.
“Turnover has decreased marginally compared to the prior year, reflecting continued uncertainty in the construction industry and the impact of phasing of contractual work in the year.”
Nevertheless, he emphasised: “The financial position of the company is strong and has improved in the year, with net current assets of £80.9k, and net assets of £633.2k.” The former is up by a mammoth 1,974% from 2017’s £3.9k and the latter has increased by 14% from £556.1k.
Looking ahead, Bass predicted: “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.”
The Gratte Brothers Group employs over 450 personnel, of which over 250 are craft operatives with nationally recognised qualifications. Additionally, it has a number of craft apprentices in training at any one time.
Bass stated: “This commitment to training and development extends across all disciplines and functions within the group and is a contributory factor in achieving one of the highest staff retention rates within the building services sector.”