Climbing a place in the Power Players rankings for the second year in succession, Newport-based Shine Catering Systems’ entry stands on the strength of its results in the 12 months to 31 December 2019, as 2020’s finances were not reported at the time this year’s Power Players was compiled.
While this doesn’t take into account the coronavirus period, we can see that the Welsh distributor entered the pandemic on the back of a record revenue of £15.0m, representing a 19% increase from the £12.6m posted in 2018. Likewise, operating profit increased by 35% from £328k to £444k.
MD Julian Shine said in the annual report that despite Covid-19, the order book for 2021 was higher than at the end of 2019 for orders to be completed in 2020. As for how the business has managed during the last 12 months, Shine detailed:
“It has been an absolutely extraordinary ride, with every company-killer experienced, starting with market closure, moving to order book cancellation, then stagnation, and more recently to labour shortages and materials inflation, all coinciding with a greater level of data required for each contract. Thankfully we have reached the end of that tunnel.”
The crisis made the strategic line of thinking the company was on anyway even more vital. Shine commented: “We were already on a road to change within the company and just starting to see the benefits before this all started. This has given us the opportunity to re-evaluate and redirect elements of the previous plan to become innovative in how we structure to focus on the work life balance.”
He revealed: “We didn’t sit idle during the lockdown period, our new management tools, strategy and structure enabled us to be quick to react to the Covid-19 situation. We recognise that our workplace, the construction site, will continue to adapt and deliver but not quite as we’ve known it for the foreseeable future, and to demonstrate our agility and restructure for the radically different economic landscape has been a great success.
“A good order book and continued award of contracts at just under our business as usual targets throughout, has offset the few contracts cancelled or delayed, providing confidence in a strong trading performance for the future.”
He concluded: “We were there for all our clients throughout, whether planning redevelopments, relocations, new projects or cost cutting measures for their reopening, and although it was hard at the time, we are now benefitting from not having shut up shop.
“We have acted to protect our ability to provide a top quality of service whilst having a framework for easy upscaling at a time when the restrictions imposed by the virus have been overcome. Our new management structure and ideology are financed, scalable and ready to roll.”
Shine Catering Systems’ MD, Julian Shine, reported that his company’s supplier relationships were impacted during the coronavirus crisis, in some cases very negatively. “Ringing three or four people in the same company to get a similar message and no response for days was extremely frustrating when upstream our clients’ expectations of technical or logistical response was no less immediate,” he said, though he noted: “A big shout to Hobart for getting it right!”