Rational UK has revealed that its sales revenue grew by 7% in 2018 compared to 2017 in its just-published annual report.
Publicly available from Companies House, the figures show that turnover for the year ended 31 December 2018 reached £61.9m, up from £58.0m in the 12 months previously.
Operating profit also rose by 5% to £2.2m from 2017’s £2.1m.
Rational UK finance director Michael Keeley stated in the report: “Growth was achieved across all product segments with the highest growth on a like for like basis on the VarioCookingCenter product, up 9% on the prior year.
“We saw a 4% shift from the restaurant sector towards mass catering in 2018 with strong growth in industry canteens and a maintaining of our strong presence in the public sector with education and healthcare.”
Detailing that selling and distribution costs declined as the combi oven manufacturer saw the benefits drawn from improvements in its logistics through first time right order processing and delivery, he further detailed: “Operating costs rose by 4% as we looked to consolidate overheads after a couple of years of heavy infrastructure investment.
“Again, we expanded our workforce in 2018 increasing headcount by 6% with particular focus on marketing and application functions to ensure that we are offering lifecycle support as an organisation to our end customers.
“Operating profit margin remained flat compared to the prior year despite the market slowing in the second half of the year.”
The current economic climate remains a concern for Rational UK though, with Keeley predicting: “The forecast for 2019 is tempered given the uncertainty over Brexit. It is clear investments will continue to stall as we approach the UK’s departure from the EU – a lack of clarity from the UK government means businesses are having to make arrangements for worse case scenarios which will most likely result in a decline in GDP.
“As a responsible organisation we have to consider the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit and plan accordingly. With this in mind the focus from an operational perspective is to maintain continuity of supply of goods and if possible look to improve lead times and stock availability.”