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FSW dines out on 50 years

Dermot Byrne: reason to celebrate

UK: Refrigeration wholesaler FSW brought the curtain down on a year of events to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a Gala Dinner at the Belfry in Birmingham last night.

In a week dominated by news of changes in the UK refrigeration wholesaling sector, FSW was able to relax and celebrate with over 150 staff, suppliers and customers to an evening of entertainment headlined by the Scottish comedian and presenter Fred MacAulay.

While the announcement of Beijer Ref’s purchase of HRP on Wednesday may have changed the order of bragging rights as to who is the UK’s largest wholesaler, FSW chairman Dermot Byrne was humorously philosophical: “Are we the biggest in the UK? Arguably. Are we Biggest in Ireland? Definitely. Are we biggest in UK and Ireland? Without a doubt. OK, next week that statement might be wrong,” Dermot Byrne admitted with a twinkle in his eye.

“But we’re different from other wholesalers,” he continued. “We’re a technical wholesaler. We get involved with projects from inception to design and after sales.”

Dermot and brother Derek (left) receive a special presentation from FSW’s Graham Hill

Certainly the company has come a long way from the original Fridge Spares business set up by Dermot’s father Dessie and his uncle Brendon Byrne in 1965 as a distributor of Craig Nicol cases.

Under Dermot’s leadership, alongside that of brother Derek, as general manager of the Ireland operation, the company today has grown to become one of the largest specialist refrigeration and air conditioning wholesalers in the UK and Ireland. With a turnover in excess of €75m, the business has three branches in Ireland, together with 25 FSW branches in the UK, as well as its specialist companies Just One Call Ltd, NRWfm Ltd, ESP Ltd and Beacon Engineering Ltd.

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