Midwich posts 20% revenue spike - but is bracing for coronavirus impact

Stephen Fenby, MD of Midwich at Diss, on the company's 2019 results. Picture: Denise Bradley

Stephen Fenby, MD of Midwich at Diss, on the company's 2019 results. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

One of the region's largest businesses has posted revenues of more than £686 million – despite facing an 'exceptionally' tough market.

Diss-based Midwich is an audio and video specialist, and said that profits for 2019 had been dragged by political and global macro-economic factors, such as the US/China trade war.

Despite posting a 0% operating profit change Midwich still brought in a gross profit of £113.1 million, growth of 19.6%.

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Moving forward, the business is also preparing for the impact of the coronavirus on its supply chain and staff.

Chief executive Stephen Fenby said: 'The impact we've seen so far has largely been through our clients. A lot of our customers, in Italy for example, are events organisers who would need projectors and video equipment for conferences. Given the lockdown we have seen those events cancelled.'

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He said: 'On the other hand if people can't go into work it does mean we could see an increase in demand for mobile video equipment so people can video conference call. If there is anything remotely positive to be taken away from a horrible situation, it's that.'

He added that staff were already prepared in the event of a lockdown, saying that flexible working was already encouraged and IT infrastructure was in place to allow staff to work from home.

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On the wider market, Mr Fenby said: 'It has been an exceptionally tough year. Part of that is down to Brexit and elections across a lot of European countries, which always puts pressure on demand.

'Our success this year has been down to the hard work of our staff, and the fact that they have provided the same high quality service as always.'

Midwich made a number of acquisitions in 2019 - a trend of investment which Mr Fenby confirmed will continue.

The FTSE AIM UK 50 Index-listed company purchased Prase in Italy, AV Partner in Norway, and Swiss MobilePro.

Mr Fenby said: 'We will continue to expand - in Norfolk as well as internationally. We're very happy with our base here and have no absolutely no plans to move. We're always recruiting in Norfolk and this will continue.'

Mr Fenby also said he was particularly pleased with the company's charity efforts, having raised £27,500 for Mind in 2019, with a target of raising £50,000 by the end of this year.

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