Profits rise at Ideal Standard despite toughening market conditions

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 31 Jul 2018

Profits have risen at Hull-based bathroom supplier Ideal Standard, despite increased competition from rivals and toughening market conditions.

The UK arm of the business, headquartered in National Avenue, has boosted its operating profits to £2.35m – up almost 15 per cent from the previous year.

Turnover at the company, which has a portfolio including household name Armitage Shanks, slumped from £149.4m to £147.6m though, as Ideal admitted it is an ever-tougher sector.

Stephen Ewer, managing director of Ideal Standard UK, said: “These are pleasing results during challenging times in the sector and reflect the hard work and dedication of people at all levels of our company.

“We have strengthened our position as brand leader in the healthcare, ceramics and brassware markets, against strong competition, while also making gains in other non-residential markets as a result of project wins in a number of blue chip developments.

“Having last year celebrated the 200th anniversary of our Armitage Shanks brand, we have a clear strategy for growth over the coming years and look forward to a bright future for Ideal Standard UK as a whole.”

Pre-tax profits soared at Ideal Standard in 2017 to £14.5m – a huge leap from the £2.6m recorded in 2016.

Ideal Standard has been manufacturing in Hull since 1936.

Its portfolio also includes Ideal Boilers in the city, the UK’s leading producer of boilers.

The company said in its financial statement, released in July for 2017: “At the end of the year, the company was in a strong financial position with a healthy balance sheet and good trading prospects. The company is in a good position to grow revenues.

“The company has faced increased competition from competitors, particularly those with manufacturing facilities in low-cost countries.

“The company continues to differentiate itself and its products through its strong brands and my maintaining its reputation for high-quality products and customer service.”

Turnover at Ideal Standard fell in all of the company’s regions.

UK revenue slipped from £147m in 2016 to £145.6m last year, while European turnover fell from £90m to £52m.

Today, Ideal Standard operates in 20 countries across the world, and employs more than 11,000 people.

The UK arm has also recently gained praise for its work to take a historically store-based industry online.

Ideal Standard International is headquartered in Belgium and owned by Anchorage Capital and CVC Credit Partners.

The firms acquired full-ownership in a deal earlier this year.

Ideal Standard is not standing still, and last year confirmed it was investing £100m into the business over three years.

A chunk of the money will be used to enhance product innovation in Hull.

Ideal’s UK roots are now firmly planted in Hull.

Unbeknown to some, National Avenue was actually given its name in recognition of the business, which was formerly the National Radiator Company.

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