“I never thought you would pull it off, Aidan, but you did” - owner/manager at the end of a project and at a meeting with an investor and a lender


Collingwood creates an organisation that performs, looks and feels like the intended purchaser’s ideal birthday present.

To develop and implement processes that make the client “look and feel” as the intended business purchaser would know and expect. Also to be able to evidence recent commercial performance with clear facts, “proving the story”.

Example projects

Precision Engineers
The client was a £6.5m turnover high quality precision tool manufacturer with a worldwide reputation. A maturing market had resulted in declining gross margin and a £472k loss. Changes in manufacturing strategy and reduced waste, moved the client to £625k profit. The Company was sold to Latour Group.
Figures in £'k
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6
Sales 6,225 6,736 5,706 6,621 7,342 7,099
Pre Tax on Ord. -61 -472 -215 119 558 625
% -1.0% -7.0% -3.8% 1.8% 7.6% 8.8%
Bank debt/loan/HP 297 861 -307 -122 -810 -1190
Notional value -785 -4,637 -1,413 -1,074 5,274 6,190

International Software Group
The company was an international software group and was one of the first to develop print management software. The firm had started off as a hardware firm and the task was to morph the company from being a typical hardware firm to becoming a leading edge software firm. When I joined the organisational problems had moved the company into heavy losses, but within six months the firm was generating cash. With international expansion and a possible float in mind; I raised £4m PE funding. Ultimately the firm grew to £10m t/o and was sold to Bottomline Technologies.

Post Production Hardware/Software Firm
The firm was a start up run by three engineers who developed an innovative postproduction product with worldwide appeal. There ensued a period of rapid growth, and the firm needed processes and structure both to sustain exceptional growth and also to attract international attention from likely purchasers. The firm developed the necessary routines and structure and was sold to Miranda Technologies.

Capital Goods Manufacturer
The firm was an MBO and had grown from £3m to £8m t/o over eight years. It manufactured and serviced capital goods. Profit performance had remained at break even throughout. Due to organisational changes, standardisation of the product range, and more effective planning, the firm moved to over £250k pre tax profit before growing to £30m t/o and being sold to KONE.
Figures in £'k
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Sales 7,203 8,200 9,188 12,470
Pre Tax on Ord. 118 151 158 252
% 1.6% 1.8% 1.7% 2.0%
Bank debt/loan/HP 624 785 906 582
Notional value 84 121 42 930

Hospitality Systems Company
The company was one of the first to enter the hospitality systems market and had grown from zero to £15m turnover in eleven years. Notwithstanding a full order book the firm never shipped over £15m in a year. Collingwood implemented Just in Time manufacturing and thereby increased volumes to £20m t/o with no increase in resources. The Company was sold to Micro Systems.
Figures in £'k
Year 1 Year 2
Sales 12,407 19,517
Pre Tax on ord. 2,448 3,645

PC Manufacturer
The client had grown from zero to £55m t/o in six years. Keen to sell and move on after this period of exceptional growth, the client required to increase profitability, accelerate growth and adopt more “corporate” procedures to secure best value from a business sale. Within two years the company grew to £106m t/o, pre tax profit from 6% to over 10% of revenue and was sold to Amstrad.
Figures in £'k
Year 1 Year 2
12 months 12 months
Sales 54,828 105,952
Pre Tax on Ord. 3,071 11,008
% 5.6% 10.4%

European Subsidiary of Worldwide OEM
One of the world’s largest computer components manufacturers had seen growth stall due to its European operation. During a two-year assignment as EMEA director, margins and customer service levels improved so that European profitability increased and EMEA grew from $130m t/o to $240m t/o in two years. The business was promptly sold.

International Distribution Group
The chemical giants and customers of this NVOCC had adopted global production strategies but the Company’s logistics systems were incapable of handling the increased volume and scope. The development and implementation of new logistics procedures and an upgrade of its commercial strategy helped the company resume growth ($8m to $24m in three years) and move from over $1m pa loss to $650k profit.

Where possible, and in most cases, Collingwood quotes public, verifiable information about the performance of its projects. We quote sales and pre tax profit figures from statutory accounts, and record when Collingwood joined and when Collingwood left. So no hearsay, no opinion, no “on the other hand”: facts, numbers you can trust.

Contact Collingwood Management at a.condie@collingwoodmanagement.co.uk
or call 07710 376746