Jestic Foodservice Solutions is now exceeding its trading levels of pre-Covid times, according to MD Ben Dale.
But like most in the foodservice industry, the pandemic sapped business from Jestic Ltd’s coffers, as evidenced by the company’s latest financial results, now publicly available on Companies House.
In the 12 months to 31 December 2020, Jestic Ltd generated £15.6m in turnover. However, as its previous financial reporting period was the 15 months ending 31 December 2019, it’s a little difficult to make a direct comparison. Sales in that period totalled £27.4m, but averaging that out to a year’s figures would suggest Covid impacted turnover by around 29%.
Likewise, 2020’s operating profit was £775k as against 2019’s £2.7m, but averaging out the 15 month period’s sum total indicates that earnings were hit by 64%.
“During the year the company has had to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the associated measures that governments, customers, suppliers and finance providers have put into place to deal with it. The company has suffered a significant reduction in turnover and operating profits have been severely affected for the year, although customers have adapted their businesses to deal with social distancing and other measures.
“This adverse impact is expected to continue in the short term, given that the company provides catering equipment and servicing to the hospitality industry, although the outlook is much more positive as the vaccine programme is rolled out and as the UK eases out of lockdown. Therefore the directors are confident that they can work through the continuing disruption and that the company’s business plans are robust, even in the current situation.”
He further analysed for Catering Insight: “2020 turnover was clearly decimated by lockdown 1.0, sales fell off a cliff at the end of March and the pace of recovery was gradual through the summer, then slowed again in the final quarter.
“The spring and summer of 2020 was a difficult time at Jestic but the support we received from HSBC was excellent, without this, and the furlough scheme, things would be very different today.”
Looking at the current situation, Dale revealed: “Keeping our teams intact, alongside a policy of increasing stock levels in Q4 of 2020 and into 2021 has enabled us to recover really strongly this year and business at Jestic is now exceeding 2019 levels.”
And regarding the future, Dale stated in the annual report: “In the medium and long term the company is optimistic it can return to historical profit levels and to pursue opportunities to improve its performance and financial position.”