Canford Reports Year on Year Revenue Growth Despite Pandemic

Canford HQ Washington Tyne and WearDespite the difficulties brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic, the team at Canford remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting customers. The business remained open throughout lockdown and focussed on pro-active sales and marketing activity, unlocking significant opportunities, and broadening its range of active customers.

Although the governments Job Retention Scheme went on until the end of September 2021, Canford was able to reduce its dependence on it over a period starting much earlier in the year and ceased to use it all together after May 2021. Turnover rose from £14.32m (2019-20) to £14.73m, an increase of 3% while gross margin remained unchanged at 30.3%.

Canford’s own brands continue to be an important source of sales growth. The group will continue to expand and develop its manufacturing facilities in order to meet increasing customer demand, by adding capacity across all sites.

Approximately 40% of Canford’s revenue is derived from international sales where distribution costs rose significantly as a direct result of Brexit. Despite this, Canford remains committed to supporting all international customers post Brexit and has successfully established a robust system for moving goods swiftly. In addition, Canford is shielding its valued European customers from all additional duties and taxes, and its experienced shipping team are processing all the necessary paperwork.

Alan Wilson, Acting CEO said: “The commitment from our team has been impressive. This has ensured Canford overcame the challenges brought about by Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns which had a devastating effect on many of our customers. We have seen a fantastic start to the first quarter of 2021/22 and this has allowed us to expand with appointments throughout sales and production. We have also invested heavily in our stocks for fibre termination to stay ahead of increasing demand as the live events, touring and broadcast markets continue to recover.”

In a strategic report prepared for the financial year ending 31 October 2021, Chairman John Francis said: “The group made a small loss in the first quarter of the year, but was profitable in each quarter thereafter, with a pre-tax profit for the year of £954,380. Sales are still recovering, somewhat unevenly, and we are beginning to strengthen the sales team in order to continue and expand the proactive methodologies started in the prior year.”

The report also reveals the sad loss of Iain Elliott on 29 December 2021. Iain was the company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer. His knowledge of Canford’s industry, the products and many of the people within it was truly unrivalled. Iain will be sadly missed by every member of the Canford team and industry friends, as marked by the sheer volume of heartfelt condolences received from around the world.

Following Canford’s transition to an Employee Ownership Trust in 2019, which means the business will be run for the benefit of current and future employees, Iain had succeeded in handing over responsibility for running the company to a younger generation of board members and senior executives, and had every confidence in this management team to carry on.

Canford continues to enhance its reputation as the supplier of choice for custom metalwork in the broadcast, live events and touring markets. The company was proud to see a significant number of Canford manufactured termination panels and custom racking solutions utilised by leading providers of complex live broadcast across various European stadiums throughout the delayed Euro 2020, broadcasting the tournament to an estimated live audience of 4.7 billion viewers.