Sales boom at Ancient House

RDCP's Sameer Rizvi with co-founder Iryna Dubylovska
RDCP's Sameer Rizvi with co-founder Iryna Dubylovska

Sales at Ancient House Printing Group have increased by well over 20% for the second year running.

The Ipswich-based web offset and sheetfed commercial printer was acquired by investment firm RDCP Group in the summer of 2021.

It subsequently returned to the black under its new owners and sales grew by nearly 25%.

Just-filed accounts for the firm’s most recent financial year, to 28 February 2023, show that sales have jumped again – by nearly 27% – to £16.32m.

Although gross profit margin slipped from 35.2% to 31.7%, operating profit was up 29% at £943,033 and operating margins nudged up slightly, to 5.78%.

In his strategic report, director Michael Underdown said that efficient working practices had mitigated continuing pressure on sales price and increases in raw material prices during the period.

He said the firm had grown the amount of work it did for existing clients and had also added new customers.

“The continued focus on efficiency and the investment in Information Technology is enabling the requirement to meet short delivery times whilst also maintaining a competitive price,” he stated.

“The company is committed to following this strategy and will again see the benefits of further investment over the next 12 months. The company has been delivering larger, more profitable jobs during the period.”

Commenting on the fresh figures, RDCP co-founder and CEO Sameer Rizvi told Printweek: “We are pleased with how 2022 went for Ancient House.

“Our success is due to the fact that we are a trusted and valued supplier that offers a first-class service and a top quality product. Trading, whilst volatile, remains reasonably strong. The IT investment is part of the continuation of the overall MIS investment enabling us to have a seamless operation.”

Ancient House runs ECO3’s Apogee workflow and eProductivity Software’s Technique MIS.

Its equipment includes two five-unit Komori System 38S 16pp web presses and a Komori GL40P ten-colour sheetfed perfector with Mabeg reel sheeter.

The firm can produce a variety of press finished products including brochures and leaflets, and also has in-house binding and stitching capabilities.

Clients include M&S, Immediate Media, John Brown, Bauer Media and Next.

Ancient House employed 68 at the year-end, an increase of four on the prior year.

RDCP owns a diverse range of businesses with total turnover of around £140m. Its strategy is to make long-term investments using its “balance sheet of internally generated permanent capital”.