Power Players 2021: Rules of engagement

CN editor pic 2020 landscape

Welcome to this year’s Power Players, the rundown of the top 10 kitchen design houses in the UK by revenue. You don’t need me to tell you that the last 12 months have been some of the most disruptive in the history of the hospitality industry, and this has inevitably filtered down the supply chain.

Which means that the threshold for being classified on this list in 2021 is lower than last year, though surprisingly not significantly. 2020’s tenth place generated £10.6m of revenue, while this year’s contenders start from £9.7m.

Once again we have exclusively interviewed the top brass of each of the 10 profiled kitchen design houses to see how they’ve coped in these unprecedented times, and reading through this year’s entries, you will see common themes of swift adaptation and clear lines of communication have helped them stay afloat, and in some cases even flourish. We’ve also delved into their dealings up and down the supply chain, seeing how these distributors have taken care of their operator customers while simultaneously strengthening partnerships with their own suppliers.

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Now the way we rank our entries may possibly result in a little skewing this year, as we always compare the latest available financial results, namely turnover and operating profit, which usually gives an accurate picture of a company’s economic health. However, as some firms’ financial years ended just before the pandemic struck, whereas others take in at least a few months of lockdown, it means that several of our 2021 Power Players may be a little disadvantaged when it comes to their listing.

But this is the fairest way we can ascertain to judge the rankings, as no two companies have the same financial year. And going forwards, the disadvantage will shake out to those with earlier financial years, when their rivals record figures coming out the other end of the crisis before they do. A few also publish their annual reports some months in arrears, subsequent to the Power Players’ publication date, but we can only go on the information that is publicly available.

Likewise there may be other distributors out there whose revenue totals would place them on this list, but if they choose not to publish their results, we are forced to exclude them. We can only rank what is in the public domain, but I hope you will agree that this gives a very good idea of how some of the top kitchen design houses in the UK have fared.

We have again compared ranking positions to last year’s to see how each company has progressed, and I can reveal that two companies from 2020’s Power Players have dropped out of the rankings, but each for very different reasons. One is Dunstable-based Advance Group, which has realigned its financial reporting, so no more recent figures are available than those we included in this report last time. And the other is Croydon-based IFSE, which missed the cut this year with £7.4m revenue, dipping down from the £10.6m of its 2018-19 financial year.

Furthermore we have included sections on online resellers, as we have made a differentiation between them and their bricks and mortar competitors, and servicing firms, which provided an essential lifeline for the vital operator sites which remained open to feed key workers at the height of the lockdown.

So read on to see who has made it into the second half of this year’s top 10 – the first half will be profiled tomorrow:

Power Players 2021: number 10
Power Players 2021: number 9
Power Players 2021: number 8
Power Players 2021: number 7
Power Players 2021: number 6

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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