Brandon removal firm Abels eyes Brexit movers

Abels boss Philip Pertoldi. Picture: Ian Burt

Abels boss Philip Pertoldi. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

An East Anglian removals company says UK firms' desire to retain a European foothold after Brexit could open up a new route to growth.

Abels Moving Services, of Brandon in Suffolk, works across the UK and in Europe offering home moves, fine art transportation and bonded storage services.

While much of its business is centred around London, it has seen the ebbs and flows in workers between the EU and the UK, and the effect of the uncertainty over EU citizens rights, as well as firms' concerns at keeping access to the bloc.

Chairman Philip Pertoldi, who has been with the company since 1981, said that the company had seen an increase in both corporate work – helping employees move for work – and its European markets.

He said: 'With the scale of Brexit still being decided, people have started looking at if they can be in the UK as a head office but also have a site in Europe as well.

'That is something other people are looking at and I think it could be something we do as well. We have found we are taking a lot of requests for information about it as people are gearing themselves up for the changes.'

Mr Pertoldi, said the strongest interest had come from financial services companies, particularly accountancy firms, and that he hoped 'to be at the table' to pitch for the work when decisions were taken.

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Corporate work had increased by about 20% in the year, Mr Pertoldi said, and now made up around half of the overall business. He added there had also been an increase in European work, which accounts for roughly 30% of the firm's £5.5m turnover.

Abels is a royal warrant holder and helped Princess Diana and Prince Charles to move home after their wedding.

The company, which employs 113 people, merged with London-based Momentous Relocation and Gerson in October 2016, with the trio all continuing to trade under their own names but in partnership. The three are working with a software firm on a video system to allow customers to carry out a survey themselves, saving time and money.

Of the challenges facing the industry, Mr Pertoldi said the rise in Stamp Duty was causing fewer people to move homes, while legislation changes around customs and engine standards were also concerns.