ScoMac sales surpass £50m since takeover


ScoMac Catering Equipment has revealed that by the end of this month it will have achieved £50m in sales since it became part of Unitech Industries four years ago.

ScoMac began trading as a Unitech company on 5 January 2009 after the previous business was rescued from administration.

Although it had to virtually rebuild the operation from scratch, the business has reclaimed its position as one of the market’s most significant distributors.

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Of the £50.2m it has now invoiced under Unitech’s ownership, 90% has come from project work and the rest from service and preventative maintenance contracts.

Iain Munro, managing director of ScoMac Catering Equipment, said that reaching such a landmark figure would never have been conceivable four years ago.

“Having started up the new business following Scobie & McIntosh going into administration we needed to re-establish the supply chain and get the customer back on board, so I would have to say it has exceeded our expectations by a long way,” he said.

“This would not have been possible without the faith and support shown to us by the suppliers. Some of them got caught quite significantly by Scobie’s and it’s pleasing we have been able to make some small steps to help them recover those losses.”

ScoMac targets projects right across the board, although the core business survives on schemes from the £50K to £200K size, with the majority being from supermarket clients and schools nationally. Indeed, Munro admits that the willingness of its supermarket customers to stick by the company while it overcame its problems has been a key factor in its success.

Projects involving customers such as Glasgow Rangers FC, Belmarsh Prison, Nottingham University Hospital, Pullman Hotel London and Hilton Hotel Glasgow have all played their part in its resurgence too.

One of the biggest changes to the business has been the launch of branches in Northumberland, Leeds, Cambridge and Northern Ireland, which has allowed the Livingstone-based outfit to shed its tag as a Scotland-only business.

The 120-strong firm has also manage to leverage its in-house production operations, which includes a custom fabrication and joinery plant in Livingstone and a modular manufacturing business from its Stellex facility in Northumberland.

While ScoMac has been able to restore the business to its original size in what remains a relatively short space of time by any measure, Munro acknowledges that you can’t take anything for granted in the market.

“I think last year was very tough,” he says. “There were projects already well into planning funding which had commenced when recession kicked in at the end of 2008. In addition there were a large number of projects associated with the London Olympics which all kept the catering equipment supply industry going until last year. The projects that have come to market since the end of 2008 are put under considerable commercial pressure because main contractors are taking considerable risks to secure work and then passing this pressure onto the sub-contractors.”

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Andrew Seymour

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