Bosses upbeat at Midwich despite £17m operational profit hit

Stephen Fenby, Managing Director of Midwich in Diss, which posted its year-end results this week.

Stephen Fenby, Managing Director of Midwich in Diss, which posted its year-end results this week. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Global audiovisual behemoth Midwich saw operations profits take a £17.8m hit during the pandemic - 71pc of its total the year before. 

The Diss-based company confirmed that the pandemic had squeezed margins, with operating profits falling from £24.9m in 2019 to £7.1m in 2020. 

However bosses at the company shook off any doubts over the company's future, instead confirming that it would look to increase its international footprint. 

It added that the final results had in fact been better than the board's original expectations at the onset of the pandemic.

Despite the pandemic - and the operational and sales issues this caused - the company purchased two businesses in the US and Middle Eastern market - Starin and NMK Group respectively.

Midwich in Diss.

Midwich in Diss. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

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Chief executive Stephen Fenby, said: "It has been a challenge. We've seen margins squeezed because a lot of our market is in the events sector which of course was slowed down. 

"We also had to navigate lockdowns and different government policies across the globe. At first we were all trying to figure it all out but as time went on we shared as much of our insights as possible across the group which was a huge help. 

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"We also retained high-quality management at the businesses - whether we already owned them or bought stakes - who have on-the-ground knowledge of what needs to be done."

Although revenue saw growth for the period of 3.7pc shareholders still took a hit - with earnings per share after being adjusted for foreign exchange movement falling by 60pc from 28.49p in 2019 to 11.20p in 2020. 

He said: "Our shareholders have been supportive - I think everyone realises that markets would take a hit and they're confident we'll come back."

Mr Fenby confirmed the company was already looking to make further acquisitions in sectors which it was already active in - though could not confirm which territories. 

He added: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our employees, partners and suppliers for their tireless hard work and continued support."

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