18% sales growth driven by 15 new contracts plus previous win revenues coming ‘on stream’ for a full yearLeading independent catering group CH&Co is yet again ahead of plan in announcing an 18% rise in turnover to £111 million for the year ended 31st March 2014 - comfortably surpassing its forecast last year that it would break the £100m ceiling for the first time. This growth has come from the continued development of six differentiated brands meeting customer needs across the Business and Industry and Commercial foodservice market segments. This turnover excludes that of the coffee chain Apostrophe in which it previously held a 50% stake and that it bought outright in April.
A series of large contract wins and the full year benefit of contracts opened in the prior year drove the majority of this increase in turnover. Specifically there were 12 new contract wins in Business and Industry (B&I) and in general these were larger in scale than the CH&Co average and brought with them operations at 34 locations. The Commercial side of the business enjoyed a year of consolidation after the significant growth in the previous two years with contracts - such as Historic Royal Palaces and ZSL London Zoo - and added three contracts. Since the year end the company has won a number of new contracts and seen renewal or expansion of existing contracts that will impact future income, this includes a significant B&I contract with Centrica British Gas.
Chairman Tim Jones said: “This is a highly encouraging performance. We look forward to the coming year and moving our turnover towards the predicted £170 million figure by 2017/18 as we outlined in our five year plan two years’ ago. Stuart and his team will focus on consolidating our fantastic wins in B&I and Commercial, further developing our operating model and integrating the Apostrophe business in a way that will help it realise its potential.”
Group CEO Stuart Lawson added: “These figures demonstrate both the strength of our brands and their customer propositions and also our ability to win and then successfully mobilise large contracts. This is an extremely encouraging indicator for the future. The competitive nature in both B&I and Commercial will always mean we will have an ever-changing portfolio and opportunities to improve our operating model. Our strength in part comes from an incredibly strong and diverse team at every level and their commitment to servicing and supporting a first class client portfolio.