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Fife firm unveils strategy

Havelock Europa to focus on higher margin business

Shaun Ormrod

Shaun Ormrod: ‘seen enough from the team here to give me great confidence’


Havelock Europa’s new CEO Shaun Ormrod today pledged to reinvigorate the Fife-based shop and office fitting company following a period of upheaval.

Mr Ormod, who was brought in last month to replace David Ritchie, joined chairman Ian Godden and chief financial officer Donald Borland to present shareholders with a fresh strategy for the business, as advised in the company’s interim results statement.

The Kirkcaldy-based company warned last month that results for this year will fall “considerably below expectations” because of delays in starting work for key customers and lower-than-anticipated orders from the public sector.

In a statement issued this morning, the board said it is setting out its short, medium and long-term ambitions for the company and the intention to focus on higher margin business, excellent customer service, and a stronger sales culture, as its immediate priorities.

Mr Ormrod said: “In the short time I have been at Havelock I have already seen enough from the team here to give me great confidence that we can take Havelock back to market leadership, where it belongs.

“The plan we are setting out today is intended to put the company on a strong footing once again, doing the right type of work for the right customers at the right price. I want Havelock to become synonymous with design-led innovation and I am excited about what lies ahead for us all.”

Speaking to Daily Business, he said he had already begun restructuring the senior management and that there would be some changes of personnel.

“We have made a couple of promotions and we are looking at one or two roles and the way departments are structured,” he said.

He added that reviewing the team would be “a continuum of my tenure” in order that the company was customer focused and achieving its targets.

Mr Ormrod, who was chief executive of Farnborough International, leaving in May after 10 years also working under the chairmanship of Mr Godden, said he wanted Havelock to focus on margin, customers and sales.

The 370-employee company had been through restructuring and job losses and its reputation had been tarnished, he said.

“Havelock has a long and proud history and I have been struck by the commitment of the people despite some of the changes.

“It is clear to me the company has faltered, coupled with a high turnover of senior management.

“There have been a number of attempts to regain lost ground, but what I am witnessing is a scattergun approach to chasing revenue rather than margin.”

The short term plan was “trading our way out of the situation”, he said, adding that he has been visiting some of the company’s key clients such as Primark in Dublin.

“Primarily it is about getting new business from existing clients and I can see plenty of business out there. About 80% to 90% of our business over the next two years will be new business from existing clients.”

Mr Godden said there were no immediate plans to refinance the company, though this may be required when it embarks on the next stage of its growth, which would include targeting international markets.

Mr Borland said the company was aiming to be back in profit in the next calendar year.

 

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