Winterhalter predicts return to expected sales levels in 2022

The Winterhalter UK and Classeq offices at Milton Keynes crop
The Winterhalter UK and Classeq offices are based in Milton Keynes.

Winterhalter’s UK arm has published its 2020 financial results, which depicts the warewasher supplier’s fortunes through the pandemic period.

In the annual report, now publicly available on Companies House, it shows that in the 12 months to 31 December 2020, sales were down by 48%, from 2019’s £32.2m to a figure of £16.7m last year.

However, the firm’s losses actually eased by 56%, as it posted a £1.8m operating loss in 2019 but only a £783k loss in 2020.

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Likewise, subsidiary brand Classeq had to battle through Covid times, with turnover sliced by 27%, from £21.4m to 2020’s £15.6m.

Operating profit was cut by 45% too, from £2.6m in 2019 to £1.4m last year.

Winterhalter UK’s finance director David Parsons stated in the report: “The directors are satisfied with the company’s performance of the business in the year, and consider this to be good in the current economic climate. In the current business climate the directors are focused on maintaining the company’s position in the market and focusing on opportunities that will arise.”

Looking back on the challenges the manufacturer has had to face, he analysed: “The worldwide pandemic that has affected much of society and has had a devastating impact on many industries including the hospitality and catering industries, our main markets. We have seen a dramatic reduction in business activity since March 2020, both in the supply of new equipment and in service work. We foresee that this will continue at least for the first half of 2021, and do not anticipate a return to previous levels of activity before 2022 at the earliest.

“We took advantage of the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, furloughing the majority of our employees, but this did not prevent us making redundancies amongst our workforce and management to reduce our long-term cost base in light of future expectations.

“We have taken the steps we believe are practical and necessary to protect the long-term future of the company.”

Parsons detailed the company’s aims: “Our intention is to weather the current economic uncertainty and sustain our business for as long as it takes for our markets to recover from this unprecedented situation. We anticipate that our markets will take longer to recover than many other sectors.

“The directors are confident that we have sufficient resources, the necessary financial stability, the confidence and support of our parent organisation to survive in the current economic climate, and that we will be in good shape to resume our position as a major player in our markets when the time comes.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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