Audio visual retailer Midwich increases profits after flotation

Stephen Fenby, Managing Director of Midwich in Diss.

Stephen Fenby, Managing Director of Midwich in Diss. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Growing stature and a strengthened balance sheet will help audio visual distributor Midwich continue on the acquisition trail, its chief executive has said.

The Diss-headquartered firm saw pre-tax profits soar to £17.9m, up from £14.6m, in its first full-year results since floating on the stock exchange.

The EDP/EADT Top 100 member has seen growth across the board with its French, German and Australian division performing strongly.

Revenue rose by 17.8% to £370.1m, up from £314.2m in 2015, and managing director Stephen Fenby said he was confident the business would continue to grow in 2017.

He said: 'Our research would suggest our markets are still growing and we are confident about 2017.

'We are always looking for new distribution agreements and in the UK we have signed up [interactive whiteboard manufacturer] SMART Technologies which has helped our growth.

'We have a constant stream of conversations with new manufacturers of developing technologies and one area we are particularly interested in is interactive technologies.'

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Mr Fenby said an increased culture of collaboration in areas such as the finance sector had led to an increase in demand for interactive displays.

He said: 'There is a growth in collaboration in meeting rooms and huddle spaces – we are excited about the opportunities there. We are also seeing an increase in the retail and education sectors.'

Mr Fenby pointed to touch-screen technology in McDonald's restaurants and advertising screens in shopping centres as examples of the technology spreading.

Midwich bought Manchester-based firm Holdan and New Zealand company Wired with the some of the proceeds of its flotation last year. Holdan brought with it revenues of £9.7m and profits of £420,000.

The company floated on the AIM in May 2016 with an initial public offering (IPO) raising £24.2m and Mr Fenby said the move had strengthened the balance sheet. He said: 'It has also given us more credibility as a public company. We have big growth plans and we want to remain as an independent business and this has helped us to be taken more seriously by our suppliers and customers.

Midwich employs around 500 people with about half of those at its Vince's Road base in Diss.

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