Carel UK

Carel’s UK office in Chessington, Surrey

UK: Sales figures from Carel UK, the UK arm of the Italian controls and humidification firm, show it is already ahead of its 17% growth target for the year.

The company, which launched its three-year plan last year following the appointment of key management personnel, is showing 21% growth after the first seven months of 2014 and on track to deliver 65% growth from 2013-15.

The appointment of Bob Cowlard as md in June last year and the subsequent additions of national sales managers Nigel Hillier, to look after its climate division, and Richard Hay, to take responsibility for retail and refrigeration sales, have served as a catalyst for a new focus on customer service and technical solutions. The resulting growth is said to bring Carel’s UK performance into line with its European counterparts.

These three key management appointments joined Jesse Poulter, national sales manager for hvac oem and Steve Chapman, responsible for service and contracts, to reposition the company, which had long depended on its manufacturing and OEM business. The internal order processing and technical support teams were also strengthened along with an increased emphasis on marketing activity.

Recognising that the last few years have been difficult for the industry as a whole, Bob Cowlard said: “Now that confidence is returning in the UK, it will be interesting to see whether it will result in increased investment in new projects and energy efficient solutions. If so, Carel UK is now perfectly placed to benefit from these trends.

“Some of the growth will come from our existing customers, who are already finding us quicker to respond and, with our stronger technical team, more able to provide solutions. But we are also winning new business. Historically the Carel brand has not enjoyed a high level of awareness because of our focus on oem business, but we have a great story to tell, particularly as we are involved in so many different sectors of the marketplace.

“During 2014 we are launching some exciting new products covering all divisions including electronic expansion valves, our new operating system c.pCO and a new range of coldroom products, UltraCella and SmartCella. These, along with our improved service and solutions and enhanced brand profile, will enable us to grow our retail refrigeration and humidification presence, as well as strengthening our position in the OEM market.”