November 27 2014 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Norfolk-based Midwich is hailing an international expansion strategy that has helped the Top100 firm carve out a vital foothold in the German market.
The EDP Top100 firm, which specialises in the distribution of audio-visual equipment, successfully acquired a 51pc stake a Hamburg-based Kern & Stelly as part of an ongoing strategy which has seen it acquire stakes in firms in France, Ireland, and Australia.
The deal has helped push up group revenues to £234m, of which £48m came from its overseas businesses, while the firm now employs 432 staff, the vast majority at its Diss-based UK operation in Vinces Road.
Stephen Fenby, managing director, said the original deal, had been done with little fanfare as the business looked to see how the new acquistion performed, but the company had been pleased with the results.
“It’s quite a small company but performs extremely well with revenues of about 50m euros,” he said. “It’s a profitable, successful business that’s grown quickly. We are really pleased with it and have had some positive feedback from our suppliers.
“It’s given us what we were looking for in the next part of our strategy, which was to get a presence in Europe and it’s given us a big presence in the German AV distribution market. It’s a big business and their numbers contributed to the last quarter of last year for us.”
He added the firm was in the midst of outlining its five year plan, but overseas business was likely to be a key part, with sales of its French business growing from 14m euros to 18m.
“International sales were making an increasingly important contribution to the business,” he added. “Our overseas sales are £48m which has grown from £26m.
“We have nearly doubled our overseas sales and they will form a bigger part of our turnover over the next couple of years.”
Bosses at automotive group Caterham are locked in crunch talks to determine the fate of its business in Norfolk, the EDP understands.