Opus Trust Marketing breaks through £20m sales barrier


Opus Trust Marketing has broken the £20m-turnover barrier for the first time after experiencing 17% year-on-year growth and securing a number of new contract wins.

Annual accounts for the 12 months to 31 March 2015 at the Leicester-based firm, which specialises in business critical printing and mailing, reveal that operating profit has also more than doubled – from £845,000 in 2013/14 to £1.75m in 2014/15.

EBITDA is up, from £1.98m in 2013/14 to £2.78m in the financial year just ended. Gross margin has risen to £6.6m, a £1.3m increase on the previous year. Net debt is also down, from £2m to £460,000.

Chief executive Paul Brough said that turnover growth was down to a variety of factors: “Retaining our existing customers is key as is growth from those customers. Some of the volumes are dropping but some are spending more money with us. Being able to provide a number of services through innovation is key.”

Opus Trust’s service offering is based around three products: Trust Doc, for printed mail, Trust Post, for mailing services, and Trust Web, for e-mail communications. Any one contract can choose to communicate with its customers through print, online or both. Text messages can also be used.

“That’s what sets us apart from a lot of the competition, that we can provide multi-channel delivery,” Brough said. “We see that as the future. The customer sends us some data and we ask ‘What do you want to do with it?’ We can use one or all methods of communication, that’s very attractive to the customer.” 

The company’s profit growth is due to a proactive approach to cost control and working capital management, Brough said. Investment, such as the six-figure sum recently invested in a new Kern 3600, which enables larger mailings to be inserted without any loss of speed, have provided efficiencies and boosted profits. “Everybody here is focused on reducing costs and making improvements,” he said.

The company has had a successful year client-wise, retaining all existing clients, which it put down to staff dedication, a good track record on hitting SLAs and quality standards and remaining competitive in the market. It has also won new contracts, including with a large water company, worth in excess of £1m.

Brough said that, while it sounds clichéd to talk about investing in people, this is something the company is genuinely focused on. It has made a number of senior appointments since its last results, including a new head of client services – a department the company has focused on heavily – Katie Sangster, a new head of IT, Stephen Beaven and a new head of projects, Diane Kruge. The company has said it will pay all employees at least the Living Wage from 1 April. It has also boosted its project management department, and added new software developers and testers and account managers. It has also engaged an external training company to boost workforce learning.

“It’s not all about what pieces of tin are on the shop floor or the software, it’s about people. People are key,” Brough said.

The company was established in 1999 and now has around 150 employees. 

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