Wales Environmental sees 65 per cent turnover growth and more than doubles staff numbers following 2011 management buy-out

Wales Environmental, one of the UK’s fastest-growing waste management companies, has seen its turnover grow by 65% in the last financial year (2011 -12).

The increase – from £2.6 million to £4.3 million – follows a management buy-out (MBO) in March 2011, since when the company has more than doubled its staff. This impressive growth looks set to continue, as the business attracts a number of new customers and long-term contracts.

Expansion will see the Pembrokeshire-based company increasing its operational footprint beyond its West Wales heartland into North and East Wales as well as into England, with new customers in North East England and the Midlands.

Managing Director Dave Busby and Business Development Director Llyr Williams took the helm at the company following the Finance Wales and HSBC-backed MBO. The pair then embarked on an organic growth strategy, building on Wales Environmental’s well-established commercial and residential client base, which includes blue-chip companies Alstom, Kelda and Welsh Water.

“Wales Environmental has been trading for more than 30 years. We were confident we could successfully expand the business with the right backing, and the MBO kick-started a phenomenal year for us,” explained Managing Director, Dave Busby. “We invested in both equipment and staff to increase the range of services we provide, which has helped us win some significant new contracts as well as increase our repeat business.”

The expansion has meant investing substantial sums in new hi-tech equipment, enabling the business to meet the requirements of both major utility customers and their industry regulators. During the past year alone, more than £500,000 has been invested in equipment and vehicles. As a result the company has more than doubled its 35-strong fleet and plans are in place to buy more vehicles, with additional funding coming from its bankers, HSBC.

“Investing in our business has already paid off,” Busby continued. “We’ve won some new multi-service utilities contracts and we have high hopes for the future. Our reputation for high customer satisfaction levels and local service delivery are real USPs and has definitely given us the edge in contracts with strict service level agreements.”

Finance Wales’ investment in Wales Environmental is one of its largest equity investments to date. Working with Busby and Williams, Finance Wales was able to align its investment package to suit their long-term plans.

“Wales Environmental is an established Welsh business with great potential,” commented Finance Wales Portfolio Executive, Lucy Humphreys. “Dave and Llyr’s experience, expertise and commitment have all contributed to this success. They have a clear vision of how they want to build their business and, as their long-term backers, our job was to combine the capital they needed with a funding structure aligned to their plans.”

As the business partners put their plans into action, Finance Wales was able to introduce them to Owen Sennitt, who now chairs the company. “We knew that turning our vision into reality would take more than money and we’d have to develop as a management team,” said Busby. “Our relationship with Finance Wales really helped here. They were able to introduce us to Owen, our chairman, who’s a great mentor and has been instrumental in helping us get to where we are today.”

Commenting on his appointment, Wales Environmental’s chairman Owen Sennitt said: “Dave and Llyr are committed visionaries and I have been able to work with them to help shape their ideas into practical strategies. Growing a business often presents a whole host of challenges around issues such as management structure, finance and management information, as well as governance, and I have been able to help here too. I am delighted with the progress we’re making.”

Now, with consolidation firmly on the agenda in the waste management industry, Busby and Williams are on the lookout for potential acquisitions to accelerate Wales Environmental’s growth even further.