Stevenage-based dealer Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment 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 analysed 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.
There looks to be a positive future in store for the firm though, as it is bankrolling a number of major changes, including a massive overhaul of its headquarters, which is due for completion by the end of the summer.
Sales director Paul Gilhooly further revealed: “We have made major investment in both our service and maintenance and design departments to ensure that we are responding to the wants and needs of our existing and new clients.
“As a 70-year-old family business we try to hold on to all that has made us successful whilst adopting and embracing new modern working practices and tools to ensure we are here for another 70 years plus.”
Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment has a very balanced business that is spread across many areas and market sectors. Looking ahead, Gilhooly underlined: “We will continue to grow our working relationships with our existing clients whilst engaging and establishing new clients in targeted market sectors.”
Overall, 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.
According to Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment sales director Paul Gilhooly, new distributors should: “Work hard and work smart. Really try to understand and then deliver on what your client needs.”
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