Northern Irish-headquartered distributor, Stephens Catering Equipment, has posted a solid set of financial results for the year ended 30 April 2020.
According to the latest annual report, now publicly available from Companies House, operating profit grew by 11% from £401k and £447k, while gross profit margin increased to 28% from 27%.
However, turnover dropped by 9%, from £18.9m to £17.2m.
MD Paul Caves wrote in the report: “The directors are satisfied with the results of the company for the year, having continued to evidence increasing turnover. Gross profit margin has remained consistent with that achieved in the previous year. The directors anticipate that the company will continue to trade profitably in the incoming year.
“Since March 2020, in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic the company’s activities have been severely restricted. The company has operated with reduced staff in all branches and have utilised the government retention schemes provided by both the UK and RoI governments. While there has been some recent improvement in trading, the continued shutdown of the hospitality sector has continued to impact the company’s level of activity.”
Looking ahead, he stated: “The directors believe the company is adequately positioned and resourced to deal with the challenges that will inevitably arise as uncertainty in connection with the pandemic continues.
“However, the directors are conscious that the uncertainty in connection with Covid-19 represents a significant risk to the industry and thereby the company. In addition to this, the risk to the health of all personnel engaged by the company is a matter which is constantly under review.”
The distributor is headquartered in Ballymena, with branches in Belfast, Broughshane, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Stephens has a big presence in Ireland too, with offices in both Maynooth and Donegal.