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Profits on the up

12 December 2012

Briggs Equipment saw a tenfold increase in profits over the past year despite difficult trading conditions and continued economic uncertainty. Profits rose from £300,000 in 2010 to £3 million in 2011. Briggs Equipment

Briggs Equipment saw a tenfold increase in profits over the past year despite difficult trading conditions and continued economic uncertainty. Profits rose from £300,000 in 2010 to £3 million in 2011.

Briggs Equipment UK is the sole national distributor of Yale Europe Materials Handling products in Great Britain, providing a wide range of equipment for a broad customer base. With its headquarters and national support centre in Cannock, Briggs people assist and advise in the delivery of long-term solutions that enable customers to develop more efficient and results driven businesses.

As a result of this collaborative, partnership approach, Briggs has announced a tenfold increase in profits over the past year.

Despite difficult trading conditions and continued economic uncertainty, Briggs Equipment has seen profits rise from £300,000 in 2010 to £3 million in 2011. At the same time, turnover has increased by 17 per cent.

Announcing the figures, CEO Richard Close said that the company was bucking a trend in the materials handling industry.

"Manufacturing and industry in the UK has been through a number of years' doom and gloom and 2011 was no different," he said. "With news on a daily basis about the decline in UK manufacturing, we've had to work smarter, taking a more flexible approach in order to ensure the customers' needs are always satisfied." Richard, who took over the running of the materials handling equipment supplier in 2005 when it was a loss making organisation, is confident of a prosperous 2012, with business forecasts for the first quarter of the year looking even more promising.

Key to Briggs' on-going success is the strengthening of its partnership with Yale Europe Materials Handling and the implementation of a number of new initiatives. This includes the launch of the Briggs Academy - a training programme designed to help staff reach their full potential in their careers, which is due to be introduced later in the year.

"I strongly believe that the academy initiative is something that is essential for the business to adapt to future needs of our customers," Richard added.

This commitment to training and development includes attracting the best of the next generation of young engineers. As part of National Apprenticeship Week, in February, Briggs held a special open evening at its headquarters in Cannock where young people were given the chance to find out how to launch a rewarding career in forklift truck engineering.

Last year six Briggs apprentices achieved their National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 3 in Engineering by completing a four-year programme that includes a mix of handson practical work and classroom-based learning at college.

After their three year Apprenticeship, they are posted to field or HQ engineering positions for a year. After this initial posting most are offered a permanent engineering role but other former apprentices are in sales, training or other supporting roles.

Briggs is committed to providing opportunities for young people and such events really help to raise aspirations, by giving teenagers a taste of the opportunities available to them.

Big Bang Fair In March Briggs is supporting the BITA stand at the Big Bang Fair. Held at the NEC it is a celebration of just how many opportunities there are within technical and engineering careers.

As part of this support Briggs will be showcasing its warehouse simulation software.

Continuing the development of the business, Briggs has appointed Gary Clements to the new role of Strategic Development Director.

Gary brings over 25 years of experience to his new role - both in terms of the materials handling sector and managing and developing a number of diverse and complex global service sector businesses. Formerly managing director of Barloworld UK, Gary understands the needs of the UK marketplace and the importance of strong customer relationships.

On his appointment, Gary said: "Briggs Equipment is entering an exciting time in the development of its UK operations, investing in new market and new business opportunities.

"I will be driving and developing new strategic opportunities that are aligned with the Briggs centralised business model.

With a strong national team, a values driven culture and customer orientated solutions, I believe that Briggs really offers something unique in the marketplace." Gary started his career as a technical apprentice, gaining solid knowledge of the forklift industry. From engineering he worked his way through the ranks into senior management positions.

Comments Richard Close, CEO at Briggs Equipment: "We are delighted that Gary has joined us. Not only does he bring a wealth of experience to the business, he is recognised as an expert in delivering innovative, ground breaking solutions for customers.

"The appointment demonstrates our commitment to being the leading provider of materials handling solutions that meet the goals of customers through a true partnership approach."