December 5 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Timber and building merchants Ridgeons said investment in new sites was “paying dividends” as it continues to eye a return to profit.
The Cambridge-based firm said record construction sector growth in August, coupled with a resurgence in the housing market, provided encouragement that business activity would also pick up in the months ahead.
It comes after the company opened four new centres across the eastern region in 2012, transforming three former Build Center sites located in St Neots, St Ives and Bedford, as well as snapping up a new store in Royston. The company also consolidated its Norwich branches into a single location at Reepham Road.
According to its latest set of accounts on Companies House, Ridgeons Ltd employed 647 staff and recorded a turnover of £109.9m at the period ending December last year.
But it made a loss before tax of £287,000, improving on its £1.13m loss it had seen the year before.
Meanwhile, figures supplied by the firm for the parent-company Ridgeons Group Ltd revealed the wider organisation employed 792 staff and recorded a turnover of £111.8m for the year ending December last year. It made a profit before tax of £2.53m, improving on its £1.93m profit it had seen the year before.
Angela Rushforth, managing director, said its three new sites are on course to play a key part in helping the firm grow and gain momentum this year.
She said: “Opportunities across the three acquired branches have proved fruitful, with the investment across these previously neglected sites paying dividends.
“Prior to acquisition these sites had experienced tumultuous trading times and under investment.
“Consequently our priorities were to effectively address these key areas and make significant improvements.
“These improvements included re-branding, re-merchandising, re-training, implementing new operating systems and the introduction of a defined customer retention strategy.”
She added: “Another fundamental part of the acquisition was to ensure that all employees felt involved and aware of the transition process.
The teams at each of these sites had experienced close to three years of uncertainty and we felt it was crucial to the branches future success, that this was appropriately managed.
“Across all three of the previous Build Centre branches we have retained a large proportion of the existing customer base and have vastly improved the offering.
“The transition has been challenging, but the outcomes have been hugely rewarding and that has largely been down to the supportive attitude of the branch teams in wanting Ridgeons as a group to progress and succeed.
“As recognition of the Ridgeons’ name in these areas grows, we are confident our quality products, the expertise of our people and our high standards of our renowned service, will continue to gain momentum.”
Two hundred jobs are set to be created after one of west Norfolk’s largest businesses was granted permission to expand its King’s Lynn facilities.