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Watbio acquisition sends Filta Group revenue soaring

Industrial kitchen. Restaurant kitchen. 3d illustration
Filta Group is now offering a sanitising service for commercial kitchens.

Filta Group Holdings, a provider of fryer management and other services to commercial kitchens, has announced its audited results for the financial year ended 31 December 2019.

These show that revenue rose by 75% to £24.9m, as against 2018’s £14.2m, reflecting an extra £8.6m contribution from recent acquisition Watbio.

Filta bought out the grease and drain management solutions provider in December 2018.

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The group’s fryer management division revenue was also up by 25%, totalling £11.7m, compared to 2018’s £9.3m.

Commercial refrigeration door seal supply and fitout arm, FiltaSeal, grew turnover by 18%, coming in at £1.9m as opposed to £1.6m in 2018.

In 2019, the group’s organic revenue grew by 16%, a percentage point down on the previous year’s figure, while franchise development revenue totalled £1.5m, the same as in 2018.

Filta’s gross profit climbed by 44% to £10.2m from 2018’s £7.1m, and profit before tax was £2.6m, a 7% increase on 2018’s £2.4m.

Filta CEO Jason Sayers commented: “The acquisition of Watbio in December 2018 established the group as the leading independent provider of grease management services in the UK and provided us with a platform for further growth in FOG (fat, oil and grease) services and related activities. Despite the challenges that we encountered in integrating the Watbio business, it contributed 34% of the group’s revenue in 2019.

“We also saw some good performances from our other company-owned businesses in the UK, where revenue grew by 18% and in North America, where revenue was up by 23%.

“We had been experiencing good trading in the period leading up to the lockdowns, which occurred in most of our operating territories during March. Revenues had exceeded management expectations and, with the rationalisation and improved productivity, operating margins were in line with our forecasts which were significantly improved over 2019.”

However, Filta’s board is not recommending the payment of a final dividend in light of the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19.

Sayers added: “During the lockdown period, in response to requests from franchisees and customers, we have commenced a new service, FiltaShield, which is a sanitising service that will protect against Covid-19 for up to 30 days. We launched this service in April and are offering it, in the UK, as a direct service to our existing customers as well as to any other businesses or organisations which have to ensure safety for their staff and customers. In North America it is being provided through our franchise network. We would potentially look to do the same in Europe.

“Our long-term focus remains on growing the business both organically and through acquisitions of high margin, repeat revenue businesses in the grease management market.”

Tags : businessfilta groupfilta refrigerationfinancial resultsfinancials
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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