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Shine’s own fabrication capabilities, such as at The Financial Times staff dining project in London, boosts the distributor’s coffers.

Newport-based distributor Shine Catering Systems had a storming 2018, with turnover shooting up by 55% from £8.1m in 2017 to £12.6m in the 12 months to 31 December 2018. Operating profit followed an even steeper trajectory, growing by a massive 1,034%, from nearly £29,000 to over £328,000.

This was enough to ensure seventh position in this year’s Power Players top 10, with the caveat that these figures include the firm’s fabrications division too.

Shine MD Julian Shine analysed: “The huge increase in turnover shows how well we have controlled our overheads. And while we are over 50% up on 2017, we feel this is sustainable growth, as we are looking strong for 2019 and 2020. The orderbook is good and our turnover is currently ahead of where we were at this point in 2018.

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“The 2017 results looked disappointing because £1m-worth of contracts were delayed, which made the turnover seem worse than it was. However, the cycle of delayed construction projects has remained and so the revenue is continuing to be maintained.”

In terms of strategy successes, he underlined: “There is constant reinvestment and a focus on continuous improvement throughout the company, and the team have come to see this as the cultural norm. We are therefore agile and quick to respond to the subtlest changes within the market.”

The distributor has made a conscious decision to concentrate on the quality of contract delivery, with a collaborative relationship up and down the supply chain. Shine detailed: “It makes us easy to deal with and trusted in both directions as we do not start from a position of raiding our supply chain or manoeuvring for a constant stream of extras. This approach has resulted in us holding the highest performance ratings for catering fit out with most of our regular customers.”

With a subtle shift towards construction contracting projects, Shine revealed: “There is now a more even balance to our orderbook with the fit out contracting. There are a couple of market sectors that are showing real potential at the moment, and we are looking to maximise our penetration in these areas.”

According to Shine, future plans include: “Not losing sight of why our clients want to work with us is key to our continued success over the next few years. We are looking at a strong real term growth this year and the order book and pipeline are holding up nicely. Development and maintenance of our partnerships will continue to deliver the highest quality.”

Essential advice

So what would Shine MD Julian Shine underline for emerging distributors? “Stick at it! It never gets easier; the plans you make and the systems that you develop lead to you getting better at what you do but that doesn’t make life easier. Your bottleneck, weakest system, or most labour intensive procedure will migrate around the business if you have a culture of continual improvement, and sometimes they pop up where they are least expected.”

Power Players 2019 is sponsored by Pitco. To visit the company’s website, click HERE.

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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