• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Point-of-sale firm reports turnover rise as profits slip

Zonal Retail Data Systems, the Edinburgh-based market leader in electronic point-of-sale systems for the pub sector, lifted turnover by 20% to £36 million last year, according to accounts lodged at Companies House.

Zonal supplies 6500 pubs, hotels, restaurants and other leisure venues with electronic tills produced in Livingston. It saw pre-tax profit fall from £2.7m to just less than £1m in the year to June, but that was largely due to major investments in a £1m manufacturing, warehouse and logistics facility at Livingston, and an innovation centre at Oxford.

The company, created in a Midlothian hotel in 1979 when its family owners invented the electronic pub till to stop stock shrinkage, has lifted sales from £14m since 2009.

It has been on the acquisition trail, buying electronic ordering system business Freshnet and recently taking a 30% stake in an innovative consumer data company. It has no borrowings, and ended the year with cash down from £4.4m to £3.8m.

The directors say the year went as planned as the company continued its progress towards widening its product set and its customer base.

A statement said: "It was a year of growth and further investment to ensure we have the correct building blocks in place for our continued expansion. The Livingston facility will enable us to plan for the future knowing we have the backbone of a modern, green and efficient facility that can meet our growth aspirations."

Zonal supplies the likes of Wetherspoon, Greene King and Spirit, and has recently added another major pub group contract to its portfolio.

The accounts show employee numbers rose from 192 to 231, including a jump from 38 to 48 in research and development. Shareholder funds grew from £9m to £10m and the group paid out a £221,000 dividend (£267,000) to owners the McLean Family Trust.

The bill for directors' remuneration rose from £813,000 to £1m, and the highest-paid director received £264,807, up from £157,816.

The directors said pre-tax profit was ahead of forecast and the Freshnet division had helped grow the customer base, adding: "The current year has started well with the continued successful roll-out of our Aztec solution to many new customers and a healthy future order book. In an uncertain economic climate we feel we are well placed to maximise market opportunities and continue the company's growth."

Managing director Stuart McLean was a finalist for the Entrepreneurial Exchange's annual entrepreneur of the year award.

Contextual targeting label: 
Finance

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

131815