Newport-based Premier Forest Group is predicting a 35% increase in annual turnover and a 130% growth in profits with just four months to go until the end of its financial year.
Premier Forest says annual turnover in the UK will have increased to circa £120m and that profits will have jumped from £8.8m to over £20m, a growth of 130% since last year.
The performance is in part due to the group’s sale of its Irish timber business Brooks Timber in the summer of 2021.
Premier had acquired Brooks nine years ago and expanded it to become the second largest builder’s’ merchant group in Ireland. The sale freed up significant capital for Premier Forest Group, allowing the directors to further increase investment in its core UK business, Premier Forest Products.
“The ability to invest even more this year has fast-tracked improvements in operational efficiency and productivity,” said managing director of Premier Forest Products Joe Walker. “It’s further enhancing our ability to respond to, and capitalise on, the opportunities presented to us. Looking ahead, the focus for us will be very much on organic growth and suitable acquisitions.”
Premier Forest Group made significant IT investment in 2021, with the company’s first foray into e-commerce for the Mill Timber brand. For the first time, the Mill Timber Direct website, which carries over 1,000 products, allows customers the ease of ordering online for delivery direct to site.
Premier’s plans for 2022 are very much focussed on further significant expansion. The board of directors is already considering several potential acquisitions that would be a good fit for the existing organisation.
Terry Edgell, Founder and CEO, said if the group had not sold its Irish group then turnover would have been projected to reach £220m.
“Our goal now is to replace this lost turnover as quickly as possible through a series of small, strategic acquisitions and with strong under lying organic growth,” he said.
“We are hoping to close an early acquisition at the start of the year, if we do it will result in a further £30m growth in turnover for the next financial year, supplemented by the 15-20% forecasted organic growth.
“I’m optimistic for 2022 and, based on what we’ve seen in the last quarter, I believe the market is looking robust for the new year. The pipeline is stronger than we have ever seen, with stocks as high as they’ve been, which is no small feat given the supply chain challenges we have faced over the last 12 months.”
He said Premier had experienced some operational difficulties in December due to a high number of coronavirus positive cases among staff.
“This is a very exciting time for Premier Forest Group and I’m really looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that the next twelve months will bring.”