Swift Group makes record £273m turnover amid management buy out

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 21 Mar 2018

Cottingham caravan and holiday home firm Swift Group has announced a record turnover of £273 million as it completed the second phase of its management buy out.

The caravan, motorhome and holiday home manufacturer last week completed the second phase of a buy out, which means the firm’s management has increased its majority shareholding.

The firm, which is headquartered in the East Yorkshire village, saw turnover increase by 8 per cent as it grew to its highest ever turnover, as it revealed its results for the year to August 2017.

Swift also announced pre-tax earnings has increased, registering EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) of £24 million, up from £22.5 million in 2016.

The firm employs around 1,250 people across its sites in Dunswell Road, Cottingham, Hedon Road, Hull and in Mexborough, South Yorkshire.

Peter Smith continues as the firm’s chairman and shareholder alongside the management team.

The transaction was led by James Turner, group managing director, and Richard Smeaton, group finance director.

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Mr Turner says the aim of the buy out deal is to ensure the long-term future of the firm, and he believes it will maintain a solid and secure base for the company’s growth.

He said: “We are delighted that the strong and established relationships between all shareholders within Swift has delivered this transaction.

“This maintains a solid and secure base for the strategic growth of the business, and retains ownership of the business within the current shareholder groups, who have together delivered the great success story that is Swift.

Nicholas Page and James Turner of Swift Group

“A core aim of the deal was to ensure the long term future of the business, and to continue the orderly transition of ownership which commenced with the first Management buyout transaction in 2012.”

Along with Mr Turner and Mr Smeaton, the existing management team includes Amy Archer, deputy managing director, Andy Spacey, technical director, Chris Milburn, design director, Graham Raper, supply chain director, Tony Miskin, transport director, and Nicholas Page, commercial director.

Swift is the largest single brand leisure vehicle manufacturer in Europe, and the largest manufacturer in the UK. It was founded in 1964 by Ken Smith, the father of the current chairman, Peter Smith.

Mr Smith said that the deal builds on the first buy out transaction in 2012, and the firm is looking to grow in the UK and internationally.

Read more: Work begins on new £25m Arco distribution site creating up to 200 jobs

“The business is in great shape, and this deal builds upon the success of the first management buyout transaction,” he said.

“Significant potential exists for the team to grow the business further, both in the UK and internationally.

“Now was the right time for all shareholders to ensure the foundations are as strong as possible to deliver this growth.”

Finance for the deal has been provided by HSBC. Scott Christian, HSBC’s relationship director for North Yorkshire and Humber, said: “We believe that the management team, chairman and shareholders in place have the best understanding of how to manage the future of this thriving Yorkshire business and we’re proud to provide financial backing for this transaction.

“Ambitious growth strategies are crucial for UK businesses, and we are here to help Swift Group with opportunities to grow its business in the UK and beyond.”



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