UK Wood Window Maker Marks 200 Years

June 11, 2012
Noteworthy

Britain's Allan Brothers, a wood window and door manufacturer based in Berwick-upon-Tweed, celebrated its 200th anniversary last week.  Coming off the heels of a "turn around in 2011," winning new business in a very competitive and difficult market, the event featured a buffett lunch for the company's 180-person workforce.

 
 Inwido's Hakan Jeppson, left, and Allan Brothers' Danny Hughes

“We need to be aware of the market dynamics, hold our nerve and, above all else, keep to our clear strategy for growth, investment and future success,” said Danny Hughes, managing director. “The business is becoming successful after several difficult years, thanks to all the hard work by employees at every level."

Allan Brothers saw a strong start in the first quarter, but the second quarter of 2012 will be very challenging. “The core traditional business is suffering from the impact of recession and government cutbacks in funding of 25 percent to social housing,” according to Hughes.

The company has set its sights on being the number one player in the UK wood window market over the next three to five years. “This will come from a combination of focusing on the consumer market while growing the organic business alongside the potential for acquisitions in a fragmented market where consolidation is inevitable,” he added.

Inwido, the company's Swedish parent company, is continuing to invest in Allan Brothers. Hakan Jeppsson, Inwido CEO, told employees that the market for wood windows and doors in the UK offers an “excellent platform” for European expansion by Inwido. “We will be Europe’s leading supplier of windows and doors by focusing our resources, products and services on people’s needs and this at a time when we are seeing a very definite trend towards timber products in the UK,” he reported.

The Inwido group has operations in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Russia, Ireland and the UK, as well as exports to a large number of other countries.  Based in Malmö, Sweden, the window and door manufacturer has some 3,500 employees and generated sales of about $700 million in 2011.