Catering equipment supply giant Nisbets has once again continued its record-breaking run of financial results, posting a £398.1m turnover for the year ended 31 December 2018, according to its latest annual report, publicly available from Companies House.
However, the Bristol-based firm was prevented from topping the £400m mark by a slowing growth rate, which it pinned on the economic climate.
2018’s revenue was 5% up on 2017’s £380.3m, but the latter figure was 18% higher than the previous year’s total.
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Furthermore, operating profit slid from £37.8m to £28.1m in 2018, a 26% drop.
Nisbets chief financial officer Stephen Marshall stated in the report: “The group experienced challenging trading conditions as both business and consumer confidence were impacted by the ongoing political and macroeconomic uncertainty associated with the continuing Brexit negotiations.
“Management envisage that these difficult trading conditions will persist until the outcome of the Brexit negotiations becomes clearer. The business continues to take all reasonable steps to ensure it is well-positioned to trade through this period with the minimum of disruption to customers.”
Marshall added: “The group continued to focus on helping drive value for its customers during this period of Brexit-related uncertainty through competitively-priced products and great customer service. Gross margin improved by 0.7% to 37.1% as the group benefitted from better market and product mix.”
The group also purchased £7m of tangible and intangible assets in its latest financial year, investing to support its future growth, though this total was 64% less than 2017’s £19.2m investment.
Marshall concluded: “In view of the continuing difficult trading conditions, the directors are pleased with the performance during the year. The group is maintaining its competitive value proposition in times of economic uncertainty whilst simultaneously laying down the essential foundations for future domestic and international growth as the business continues to develop its customer offer as an international multi-channel distributor.
“The business foresees another 18 months of investment to consolidate its position in the UK market and to exploit opportunities for international expansion.”