Southerns Group set to smash £200m target early

Andy Kendall-Jones, director of Southerns Office Interiors, Leeds.'''Picture by Roger Moody / Guzelian
Andy Kendall-Jones, director of Southerns Office Interiors, Leeds.'''Picture by Roger Moody / Guzelian
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Workspace interiors specialist Southerns Group is set to smash its £200m turnover target three years early following the completion of a major deal.

Central Square Holdings Limited (CSHL), entrepreneur Steve Parkin’s venture capital vehicle, recently completed the acquisition of Leeds-based Southerns Group and property services firm Styles & Wood Group, based in Manchester.

The two groups, which include about 10 companies, are now wholly owned subsidiaries of CHSL. Key shareholders in CSHL include the management team, and Central Square Investments, an investment vehicle controlled by Mr Parkin.

The deal will see the enlarged group reach a turnover of £190m by the end of June, when Styles & Wood submits its accounts, and surpass £200m within the next 12 months, ahead of its 2021 target.

Recently filed accounts for Southerns Group Ltd show turnover of £41.7m was achieved in the year ending 30 June 2017, up from £17m in 2015/16.

Pre-tax profit also increased to £2.68m from £712,152 the year before.

The business has achieved rapid organic growth following an investment by CSHL in 2015, supplemented by acquisitions.

CSHL previously held a 25 per cent equity interest in Southerns and took on the remaining 75 per cent as part of the deal.

The executive team of the enlarged group includes Tony Lenehan (CEO) , Phil Lanigan (CFO) , Paul Mitchell (chairman) and Andrew Kendall-Jones who will become an executive director.

Mr Kendall-Jones, head of Southerns, said: “The scale and size of what the group offers is phenomenal, enabling us to work on bigger schemes.”

Southerns is a fixtures, fittings and equipment specialist that has worked with a range of blue chip clients including Carillion, Bunzl and a number of top end universities including Leeds. Its customers include clients in the healthcare, education and commercial sectors.

It has a number of divisions including SpaceInvader Design and Ralph Capper Interiors, which have designed new offices for Zenith and SkyBet in Leeds.

Southerns has grown quickly over the last two years following an investment by Central Square Holdings Limited (CSHL).

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Mr Kendall-Jones described the market as ‘buoyant’. “We are very busy across all areas of the business, there are lots of opportunities,” he said.

He added: “The economy is holding its own and we are at a vital point in helping it build and creating better environments for businesses.”

Styles & Wood was listed on the AIM market on the London Stock Exchange.

The management team has re-focused the group over recent years, expanding its service offering, eliminating loss-making business and creating an organisation which is consistently profitable. Styles & Wood’s turnover in the year to December 2016 was £104.7 m with an underlying pre-tax profit of £4.1m.