Paragon Group Limited expects more than £215m sales following spate of acquisitions

The Sunderland-headquartered printing group has extended its footprint across Europe following a year of growth

Google Pallion Trading Estate, Sunderland
Pallion Trading Estate, Sunderland

Printing outfit Paragon Group Limited expects sales to exceed £215m in 2015 thanks to an acquisitive spree.

The Sunderland-headquartered group, which has operations across Europe, acquired part of debt-burdened Service Point along with UK-based Horner Brothers and RR Donnelley’s French direct mail facility, in 2014.

In accounts filed at Companies House, Paragon showed pre-tax profits increased to £5.5m from £1.3m during the year to the end of June 2014.

Over the same period revenue rose from £116m to £128m on the back of an “excellent operating performance”.

Laurent Salmon, chief financial officer at Paragon, said group sales and profitability showed very limited impact from the newly acquired Service Point businesses which took place just before the year-end.

Mr Salmon said pro-forma annualised sales for 2014, which include sales from the newly acquired businesses, would surpass £209m.

Paragon bought several Service Point businesses in the UK, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, along with the trade and assets of Horner Brothers Print Group Ltd which was in administration at the time.

The acquisition of RR Donnelley SAS, a French subsidiary of RR Donnelley Inc, added a major direct mail operation to the firm’s marketing services division.

Similar size acquisitions are expected to materialise over the next 12 months as Paragon forecasts sales of around £227m in 2016.

In a document attached to the accounts, chief executive officer Patrick Crean, said the recent acquisitions had significantly strengthened Paragon’s UK position and extended its footprint into Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Scandinavia.

He said: “The integration of these companies into Paragon is proceeding well; the synergies between the companies which we foresaw prior to the acquisitions are already starting to bear fruit and we expect the combined group to further exploit these synergies in the coming financial year.

“The group would like to extend a warm welcome to our new customers, workforce and other stakeholders in these businesses and we look forward to building long term relationships with them, which a strong feature of the Paragon culture.”

During the year Paragon carried out a strategic review and made three additions to its executive management team — tasked with driving organic and acquisitive growth of our Group.

Steve Berney, group business development, joined the firm from Canon Business Services Europe; John Rogers, who is focused on company acquisitions, joined from Nasdaq-listed Identiv, and Brian McDonald joined from GE Corporate Finance Bank London.

Paragon employs 101 at its Pallion Trading Estate head office, but overall employs around 2,500 across more than 150 production locations and more than 80 on-site service locations.

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