Kidderminster-headquartered carpet and flooring company Victoria PLC, revealed that its Italian business has continued to grow throughout 2020/21 and on Friday invoiced its €100 millionth sale since the start of the financial year.
In December 2017, Victoria began its expansion into Italy by acquiring Sassuolo-based ceramic tile manufacturer, Ceramiche Serra – a mid-sized factory with revenues at the time of €28 million. Serra has performed very strongly under Victoria’s ownership and, has twice outgrown its production capacity since then.
In February 2020, Victoria paid £9.9 million for the factory of a neighbouring business, which was facing closure, complete with its plant, equipment and brands. This was a highly efficient way of adding production capacity as it provided more-or-less instantaneous additional production capacity versus the 18-24 months it would take to build a factory, install the plant, and acquire emission rights.
This factory was fully integrated into the existing Italian operation during the following six months, with a reduction of employees from 368 to 250 FTE alongside production output increasing by 1.2m m ² of red body tiles and 0.7m m ² of porcelain tiles. The product mix was also optimised.
Despite the constraints of the last 12 months, growth has accelerated over the last 12 months with new significant customers and new markets – mainly in Eastern Europe and North America – being secured (nearly 100% of output is exported globally). As a result, on Friday 26 March, the business reached a remarkable milestone – invoicing €100 million of sales for the year since 30 March 2020.
Organic growth has again filled capacity and some production is once more being outsourced. Consequently, Victoria is now actively seeking to efficiently add further capacity to enable this production to be insourced to improve margins further as we are confident of additional growth in 2021/22.