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1 minute read

Manufacturer shakes off Brexit concerns with double-digit sales growth

Manufacturer Harvey Water Softeners has reported a 10% rise in sales during its last financial year, turning over £22.6m during the 12 months to December 2016 – up from £20.6m the year before.

As discussed in a recent interview with Zenoot, the South East-based firm, which builds and sells water softeners for homes in hard water areas, has grown its turnover by 110% in the last five years.

Having posted double-digit growth every year since 2011, it is now forecasting further growth in 2017 coming from sales across the UK and Europe.

According to the company’s senior team, its business performance is a display of British manufacturing strength following last summer’s Brexit vote.

Martin Hurworth, managing director of Harvey Water Softeners, said: “Our recent growth is down to the fact that we’re in control of our destiny. We’re really busy and this is the eighth year of consecutive growth we’ve had. We design, manufacture and install in the UK and unlike our competitors, who make their products overseas, we have very low import costs.

“Brexit was really interesting for us. Before the vote we were doing OK, but as soon as the vote happened we entered a period of record sales. We believe this is down to our customer demographic. Older customers tend to be less affected by the Brexit decision and pensioners, who make up a large part of our customer base, tend to have more disposable income than any other group now.”

Watch: Martin Hurworth discuss the finance results below:

Harvey Water Softeners’ workforce grew by 20% last year on the back of its increased sales and a £2.5m investment in research and development. The company now has a workforce of over 200 staff at its Woking headquarters.

Hurworth added: “We’re looking for a business-friendly Budget. We want the Government to support the continued growth we’re seeing in the manufacturing sector. We need to continue with R&D tax credits and investment in STEM to make sure we’ve got the right people coming through, because it’s people who will be driving growth in the future.”

Harvey Water Softeners began trading in Surrey four decades ago. The family-run firm is now Europe’s largest manufacturer of compact water softeners and the UK’s market leader, having sold products to more than a quarter of a million UK homes since 2001.

Approved by the Good Housekeeping Institute and a proud holder of the Made in Britain marque, it has been Thames Water’s chosen water softener affinity partner since 2012.

Financial results in detail

Year: Group turnover in year to 30 November (year-on-year increase)
• 2016: £22.6m (up 10%)
• 2015: £20.6m (up 25%)
• 2014: £16.5m (up 16%)
• 2013: £14.2m (up 18%)
• 2012: £12.0m (up 11%)
• 2011: £10.8m