Soaring sales forcecast for Burnley company after bumper year

A Burnley enjoyed a bumper year after a bumpy beginning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 3:45 pm
Rupert Gatty

Despite feeling the initial impact of the pandemic, CoolKit in Burnley, enjoyed a bumper year and expects sales to soar further still in 2021.

A leading manufacturer of temperature controlled transport solutions, the business closed 2020 with a record high order book.

CoolKit, based at Farrington Place, has recruited to deal with the surge in order intake and is well prepared to satisfy what is expected be the rebounding market of a post-pandemic era, hopefully as soon as March or April.

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Rupert Gatty, CoolKit’s chief executive, said: “When I think back to the first national lockdown in March last year, there was widespread uncertainty; we were in uncharted waters and responding to ever-changing information.

“Orders were postponed and supply chains dried up, but we had a duty to convert vehicles essential to the safe delivery of pharmaceutical products and foodstuffs to frontline organisations across the UK and so we pressed on.”

Such customers included FareShare, a national organisation delivering vital food supplies to frontline charities across the UK, providing a lifeline to those most at risk, including children and families and those who are sick and self-isolating.

As the first lockdown lifted and CoolKit acclimatised to working within tiered restrictions, business began to pick up further, its products proving especially popular among LCV rental companies and large fleet operators.

Rupert said: “These customers recognised the beneficial aspects of the products - which aim to optimise refrigerated fleet productivity whilst minimising total cost of ownership.

“In addition, customers were attracted by the comfort of CoolKit’s unrivalled production capacity, which is larger than that of any other refrigerated van converter in the UK.

“The company sustained output throughout the first lockdown and plans to do so throughout the latest lockdown.”

2020 also saw substantial investment in equipment and a number of new key appointments for the business, including new managerial positions in quality assurance, sales, aftersales, logistics and production planning roles.

Rupert added: “Over and above that, there is more investment in R&D planned than ever before to deliver further innovations of the kind that have just won CoolKit the coveted What Van? 2021 Award for Innovation.

“Key to the win was our ability to eliminate the traditional timber element of refrigerated vehicles from our regular conversions, which demonstrates both our commitment to reducing deforestation whilst simultaneously enhancing fleet productivity by reducing unladen vehicle mass.”

“We’re really proud of what we have achieved amid challenging times and look forward to a prosperous 2021 as we hopefully wave goodbye to the virus.”