Forest Garden restructured

Published:  29 January, 2010

HARTLEBURY: One of the UK’s leading garden timber manufacturers, Forest Garden, has confirmed that it has completed its three-year programme of operational restructuring and is looking forward to a strong 2010 based on healthy financial and operational foundations.

The company, which underwent a management buy-out from 3i in 2006, has progressively streamlined its previously fragmented structure and is now said to operate the UK’s largest garden timber products assembly and distribution facility complemented by two dedicated fencing sawmills.

Confirming its continued confidence in Forest Garden’s long-term progress The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which has supported Forest Garden throughout, has renewed and enhanced its financing support for the Group going forward.

Guy Grainger, managing director of Forest Garden confirmed: “We are at the stage where the major restructuring programme and associated disruptions are well behind us, and we can now focus exclusively on delivering the ranges and services that continue to deliver profitability for our customers.

"Continual improvement remains our watchword, but I’m pleased to say Forest Garden has successfully concluded an essential period of change. In 2006 the buy-out team inherited seven disparate manufacturing operations across the UK providing excess capacity and many logistical challenges.

"We satisfy an annual demand of over 1.5million fence panels and 120 000 garden buildings to name but two ranges, so it’s been critical to get Forest Garden’s business model absolutely right. Today we are rightly proud to have both retained and refined our UK manufacturing heritage in the form of a simplified, vertical, and highly efficient operation on which to build a market leading service.”

The effect of initial infrastructure changes was swift; in 2007 Forest Garden was nominated by RBS for the ‘Private Turnaround of the Year’ award for its improved financial performance.

Since then progress has continued with the consolidation of Forest Garden’s financial turnaround, despite the recent tough economic climate – as evidenced in the financial outturn for 2009 which will show a trading profit of over £1m.

Mr Grainger added: “Our management team is excited looking forward. We have both confidence and enthusiasm, on the basis that we are single-minded in our focus on improving the service and products we offer to our customers."

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