Stockton-based Brulines shrugs off profits fall

DATA monitoring group Brulines says it has all the pieces of the jigsaw to get where it wants to be after its recent growth spurt.

James Dickson
James Dickson

DATA monitoring group Brulines says it has all the pieces of the jigsaw to get where it wants to be after its recent growth spurt.

The Stockton business, which started out in the beer monitoring business and now also operates in the garage forecourt, vending and gaming market, said interim turnover and profits slipped back but it was satisfied with its performance in a difficult market.

Turnover fell to of £11.79m in the six months to the end of September from £12.27m a year ago and pre-tax profits slipped to £1.62m from £1.95m.

The group is in the second year of a five-year strategic plan to become the market leader in each of its sectors and it said it has already reached that position in its core leisure division, where Brulines measures beer in pubs.

It said the fall in turnover was mainly due to pub sales and closures, which had reduced the number of hostelries using its equipment by 660.

However, 361 took on higher-value equipment and Brulines signed a new long-term agreement with Enterprise Inns at the start of November.

It is also in advanced discussions with other key customers about extending their contracts and trialling its iDraught equipment.

Chief executive James Dickson said: “In terms of the economic background, I am really pleased with where we are.”

He said a number of commercial trials are taking place with its Vianet subsidiary in the vending machine industry.

“If we can complete one of them, it takes Vianet straight into profit,” Dickson said.

“We are pretty much where we want to be; we’ve got all the pieces.

“It’s just converting some of these commercial pilots into solid sales and I’d be very disappointed if that hadn’t happened within the next six months.”

In October, Brulines paid an undisclosed sum for Lookout Solutions, an Oxford company with clients including soft drinks producer AG Barr and a multinational brand.

That acquisition was the most recent step in the company’s ambition to create a market-leading company providing for the global vending sector, which started with the acquisition of Vianet in 2008.

Shares in the business closed the day unchanged at 80p.

 

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