As one of Scotland’s largest manufacturers of PVCu and aluminium windows, doors, conservatories and rigid build kitchens, we’re gearing up for further expansion after announcing our 23% rise in sales for the last year.
We grew our total sales net of VAT to £13.1m in the 12 months to 31 October 2015, up from £10.7m in our previous financial year. Window sales jumped by 21%, while sales of kitchens soared by 33% thanks to rising demand from both our trade customers and the general public.
During the period we invested heavily in our cost base whilst remaining profitable with pre-tax profits of more than £0.5m.
Our growth has been fuelled by a £3.5m investment made in February by Business Growth Fund, the independent company established to help the UK’s growing businesses.
Growth capital and advice from BGF has enabled us to double our number of trade counters from six to 12 with branches opened in locations including Govan, Stirling, Falkirk and Dunfermline.
As a business we’ve expanded our factory for producing kitchen units and have recruited 60 staff since BGF’s investment, taking our total headcount up to 158 workers.
In the next stage of our expansion we will open an additional ten trade counters this year, including branches at Seafield and Sighthill in Edinburgh during January and then a further eight units over the coming months at locations such as Bellshill, East Kilbride and Inverness.
Our MD, Ron Hepburn, said: “I am so proud of our growing team – they’ve worked really hard to increase our sales over the past year and now they’re seeing the fruits of their labour.
“It’s very rewarding to see our sales grow by more than one-fifth during the past financial year and to see that our strategy of expanding our kitchens business is already paying off.
“I’m also really excited about opening a further two trade counters in Edinburgh and then eight more throughout Scotland over the course of this year, including moving into important locations like Bellshill, East Kilbride and Inverness.
“Although our main market continues to be our local trade customers, we’re also seeing a trend for consumers who want to ‘do it themselves’ and so they’re planning their own kitchens, sourcing their materials from us and then choosing a tradesman to make the purchase.”
We’ve come a long way since our original foundation in 1997 by Ron and the now-retired Dave Flynn, when we originally focused on installing doors and windows.
When Duncan Murray joined us in 2000 and we switched to manufacturing our own products, investing £2.3m over the over the past two years online in state-of-the-art equipment for our five-acre facility in Houston Industrial Estates in Livingston.
In return for its growth capital, BFG took a minority stake in the business and appointed BGF Investor Patrick Graham to the board.
At the same time, former Focus Wickes group commercial director David Pearson became chairman and Murray McGarvie, ex. Fraser Hart FD, joined as finance director.
Patrick Graham, an Investor at BFG, said: “Ron and his team have quickly put our funding to work by investing in staff and opening new trade counters, which has led to an increase in awareness and sales. This has been great to see, and testament to the strength of the management team.
“BFG invested nearly £50m in businesses across Scotland last year and we are always looking to speak to and meet with interesting companies, like Stevenswood, with ambitions to grow.”