Edenbridge-based Hallmark Kitchens has revealed its latest financial results for the 12 months to 30 September 2018.
It is a mixed picture for the Kent kitchen design house, according to its 2018 publicly-available report on Companies House, as turnover fell by 18% to £6.4m, from the 2017 financial year’s £7.8m. Operating profit also slipped to a loss of £56k, 142% down on 2017’s £132k.
The firm’s directors, Kevin Jennings, Chris Douglas and John Carlton, put the performance into context within the report, writing: “2018 has been a challenging year for the business as we have had to accommodate an unexpected downturn in sales in Q3 and Q4 due to programme slippage on a number of large contracts, whereas our overhead has largely remained fixed in anticipation of the workload in 2019.
“That being said, there were some positive indicators for 2018 through continued strong management from our dedicated team which saw servicing sales increase by 14%, direct sales exceeded budget by 25% and our gross profit was up by 1.5%.
“The positive side however of the contract slippage in 2018 has meant that we have a solid forward orderbook platform for 2019 and we anticipate projected sales exceeding £8m.”
During the reported period, Hallmark looked at rationalising its overhead without impacting its service offer and therefore restructured its direct sales business by redeploying its current staff members to streamline our operation more effectively.
The directors were confident about the future though, detailing: “Our position in the industry as a design-and-supply contractor continues to gather momentum with a number of newly-established clients providing follow-on business opportunities as they look to strengthen their position in the UK marketplace by partnering with Hallmark for their catering equipment requirements.
“To keep abreast of this additional workload in the preliminary stages of new project development, we have engaged an additional catering designer which we feel is a positive move forward in offering and improved and more efficient customer service offer.
“In addition, we are actively looking to strengthen our sales force in the direct business as we see a number of opportunities to generate incremental business outside the traditional core strengths of Hallmark’s design and contracting work.”