Mind your step! 4/4

Published:  07 July, 2010

The Power Players

Kent Blaxill

  • Name of CEO – Simon Blaxill
  • Turnover last financial year (2008) – £30.4m
  • Turnover this financial year (2009) – £27.6m
  • No. of branches in 2009 – 8
  • No. of branches in 2010 – 8
  • No. of staff in 2009 – 229
  • No. of staff in 2010 – 232

“The market has been difficult in 2009 and is likely to remain so for 2010, not least due to the unease created by a General Election,” said managing director, Simon Blaxill.

“We are working hard to differentiate ourselves from the competition across our whole range of products. For the first time for many years, we are utilising television advertising to reach the public for parts of the business where the consumer determines the product used.

“Where it is possible to add value such as in glass processing, investment has been made in producing coloured glass for splashbacks.

“Focus within the merchanting business is on good old-fashioned service.

“We are also investing in a new software system in 2010 to make ourselves more operationally efficient and more responsive to customer needs.”

The company has ambitions to grow its business and its branch network in the coming years.


John Nicholls (Trading)

  • Name of MD – David Hebdon
  • Turnover last financial year – £25m
  • Turnover this financial year – £21m
  • No. of branches in 2009 – 10
  • No. of branches in 2010 – 9
  • No. of staff in 2009 – 141
  • No. of staff in 2010 – 108

“After a tough trading year toward the end of 2008, 2009 saw the business gear itself to adjust to the market conditions,” said managing director David Hebdon.

“Having a core customer base of the small to medium-size builder and plumber complemented by the high-end kitchen and bathroom retail customers, the mix of business has held its own with not all sectors being effected by the economic conditions.

“Tight control of overheads and maximising sales opportunities through new technologies will be the way forward in the coming year.”


This article first appeared in the April edition of Builders' Merchants News magazine.

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