Accounts filed by Hoshizaki Europe this month reveal the business had grown 6% ahead of the pandemic, with turnover for full-year 2019 reaching £27.1m.
The ice machine manufacturer, which operates a large manufacturing facility in Telford, entered the downturn on the back of robust growth, reporting a 12% increase in unit sales in Europe as it benefitted from the transfer of manufacture and supply of ice storage bins from China.
Operating profit at the business grew from £1.2m to £2.3m year-on-year.
Although products produced by Hoshizaki Europe are shipped worldwide, it relies on the European market for 70% of sales.
Directors at the firm indicated in the report that more effort was being made to source product locally where possible.
It currently purchases 50% of production components from Japan, denominated in euro, and a further 20% of material parts from the EU in euro.
To reduce exchange rate movements, it is continuing to change the sourcing of production parts from the Far East and America to domestic markets.
Referencing the impact of Covid-19, directors said the business had experienced a significant interruption to trading activities but had taken advantage of government support through the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme with the aim of retaining employees to ensure an appropriately skilled workforce is in place when manufacturing activity increases.
Hoshizaki Corporate has offered support to its subsidiaries in the form of cash loans and the opportunity to defer dividend payments, although Hoshizaki Europe has not had to utilise this support due to its strong cash balance.
Back in November, the wider Hoshizaki Group told investors that it would achieve a full-year net profit of 4.7% of sales in 2020 and estimated that Covid had led to global year-on-year sales declining 19%.
Its budgeted volume for 2021 – which is drawn from forecasted orders from group companies – is up 13% on last year, it said.
The report also showed that in March 2020, Hoshizaki Europe received instructions from Hoshizaki Corporation to pay the immediate parent, Hoshizaki Europe Holdings, a dividend of £826,500. This transaction was completed in June 2020.