HRP-logisticsUK: Beijer Ref has confirmed it is negotiating the closure of HRP’s Bury St Edmunds hq in an effort to stem company losses and protect the remaining branches.

Beijer Ref acquired the remaining shares in the 70-year-old refrigeration wholesaling business in November following the death of owner Kingsley Curtis.

At the time Beijer Ref referred to HRP’s profitability problems but saw good opportunities to reverse the trend through efficient co-ordination with the Group’s existing UK refrigeration operations and by implementing a fully-comprehensive UK logistics network.

The proposed restructuring involves moving functions such as IT, purchasing and accounts from HRP Rougham to Beijer Ref’s UK administrative headquarters in Leeds. The Leeds base operates as the hq for all Beijer Ref UK companies, including Dean & Wood and RW Refrigeration Wholesale, the former United Refrigeration business it acquired in 2011.

John Billson, managing director of Beijer UK, told the BBC last week: “HRP is in poor shape and losing money and we’ve got to get it back on its feet again and make it profitable.”

In 2014 HRP made a £450,000 loss before tax on a turnover of £38.6m. The year before, losses were £2.25m.

Speaking to the Cooling Post, John Billson confirmed that they were looking to reduce costs and bring the company back into profitability. “We are committed to the HRP brand,” he said and confirmed that there were no plans to close any of the other HRP branches. In fact, the current negotiations are intended to protect jobs elsewhere in the country.

“We are planning to put the HRP brand back on the map and are investing in logistics,” he said, and confirmed that HRP subsidiary 3D would continue as an exclusive distributor of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries air conditioning, with HRP selling Samsung ac.

Beijer Ref is currently undertaking a 12 week consultation with staff at Rougham.

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Beijer Ref buys wholesaler HRP – November 18, 2015
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