We move into the year with a review of what has turned out to be our best year in 2013 with an increase in sales of +18.3% to £3.14m which is very pleasing.
This I hope does show that the economy is gaining momentum as, being in packaging, we react to upturns and downturns behind the curve. That said, it all depends on how well our customers are doing in their own markets too of course but it’s a decent enough bell weather.
Sales increased in FIBCs to 29% of revenues showing the efforts we have been putting in to that product group. PE (Polyethylene) products remains our mainstay at 67% but we are looking to growth for all areas and to balance more in 2014. Paper is an area we’d like to improve significantly and we are looking at our sales channels and plans to do that.
The year saw us increase our presence in packaging for the food sectors and construction where we have the advantage of a market move from paper to plastic for hygroscopic products requiring a better moisture barrier, shelf-life and tougher pack performance when handled as there are up to 11% of paper sacks damaged in transit after filling.
ProVent FFS (Form Fill & Seal) films from our partner RKW are a market leading innovation which allows the product to be marketed as “weatherproof” even though they de-aerate through a patented system. This sector for cement based grouts and powders is growing strongly and we are well placed to be a leading packaging supplier in the coming years.
We also have “Filter” valve sacks that allow our customers to use their existing filling equipment to move from paper to plastic too without the extra Capex required to go to FFS. This construction sector is one we will continue to put resources into.
FIBC sales will continue to grow during 2014 and we are targeting markets that we have a technical advantage in, primarily packaging for food, pharma and chemicals. I hope we’ll increase sales by over 50%, which is difficult to achieve, but we have a number of projects in the pipeline that should see us get close to that which would be a great effort.
We continue to keep our overheads low whilst investing successfully to ensure we deliver lower costs to our customers. This is important as a precursor to growth and is one we will concentrate on.
As ever, I’m genuinely pleased that our levels of performance, service and overall customer care have been upheld once again and continues to show our true commitment to the values that we hold dear. Our plans are to increase sales of our packaging products by organic growth, merger or acquisition and we’ll see how we get on with that in 2014.
A big thank you to our staff, to our suppliers for their support and not least to our customers for their continued and valued business.
Robin E.J. Reid