Domestic appliance specialist boosts profits through growing online presence
In a family business that manufactures and supplies spare parts for household appliances, annual pre-tax profit has increased despite a decline in sales.
Qualtex Global, based in Denton, is also investing £ 400,000 in technology to make the Denton warehouse completely paperless.
The company, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, sells original and compatible spare parts for appliances such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and dryers. It supplies retailers, engineers, repair shops, contractors and independent dealers. It is also sold direct to consumers through Amazon, eBay, and other internet outlets.
Qualtex is run by the married couple Philip and Caroline Hulme as managing directors and managing directors. The company has been family-owned since it was founded in 1961.
The group, which operates in the US and Ireland, as well as the UK, increased underlying pre-tax profit in 2020 by 60% to £ 2.4m on sales of £ 27m compared to £ 29m in the previous year.
Finance director Chris Gibbons hailed the group’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying its performance was bolstered by a sharp surge in e-commerce sales and the tendency for households to fix devices rather than replace them.
Ecommerce sales now make up 50% of sales.
Qualtex has accelerated its investment program with a new warehouse selection system that will more than double the number of items shipped per day to 7,000. The company is now taking its business one step further by investing £ 400,000 in technology to make its Denton warehouse paperless.
Chris said the project would reduce the company’s paper consumption by a million sheets a year.
After taking over the JEGS gardening and home improvement business in 2017, Qualtex also supplies hoses, tools and other equipment to hardware stores.
In total, Qualtex carries more than 250 brands and exports to more than 40 countries. In the UK, the group operates from a 90,000 square foot office, warehouse and distribution center in Denton and has teams in Kent and Essex. It has a commercial counter, warehouse and sales team in Dublin. The US business 4YourHome is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The total number of employees in the group is 85.
Chris Gibbons said, “Last year has been a great 12 months for Qualtex and we will use this platform to build on and improve our operational efficiencies by investing in our people and new technology.”
The group has hired the auditing company Hurst to provide financial and strategic advice in order to plan the next phase of growth.
John Glover, partner on Hurst’s Business Services team, said, “Over the past 18 months Qualtex has invested heavily in improving its operations and efficiency, which has enabled the company to respond effectively and decisively to the impact and challenges of COVID-19.
“These programs are bearing fruit in increasing profits at a difficult time for everyone. With a number of other developments in the pipeline, the company can look forward to the future with confidence. We look forward to working with the management team to advise and guide them on their growth strategy while continuously supporting compliance. “
Chris Gibbons said, “We are very excited to be working with Hurst. We have all learned the importance of supporting local businesses during the pandemic and look forward to working with the team in the years to come. “