Rocket eyes sustainable growth and new markets

Darryl Danielli
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wide-format specialist Rocket Graphics is targeting sales of 5m next year on the back of an ambitious growth plan, centred on 350,000 investment on a site expansion, high profile appointments and kit spend, that has already begun to bear fruit.

"We’ve had a few reasonably good years and the investments have been largely funded by the business as well as invoicing finance. We’re really positive, the business has grown together and most importantly it’s been sustainable. We’ve certainly not gone mad," said Rocket managing director Tim Porter.

As part of the growth plan Gary Egan has joined as production manager, Andy Webb has been appointed to project manage a number of key client events and Steven Silverton joined to head up Rocket’s newly created retail division.

The firm is also looking to further boost its installation teams and artwork studio later this year.

The appointments follow the Watford firm taking on an additional factory unit over Christmas 2012, doubling its floor space. This enabled it to install a raft of refurbished kit, including a 3.2m-wide EFI Vutek QS3200 UV flatbed, two Mimaki JV5 series roll-to-roll printers, and a Zünd G3 digital cutter.

"We’ve started to do a lot work in sport hospitality branding, which increasingly involves temporary walls wrapped with large-format graphics rather than the traditional, build, skin and paint structures," said Porter.

"The market seems to be growing and growing and the QS is perfect for that type of work because it enabled us to produce high-quality wraps up to 3.2m wide and most of the walls are up to 3m."

High-profile events the company has worked on this year include the Champions League Final at Wembley, Silverstone and the Paris Air Show. It also has a strong presence in the retail sector.

The company also installed a refurbished 5m-wide HP Scitex solvent printer last year, which according to Porter enabled it to offer grand-format printer and gain a foothold in the fascia market.

The company is now mulling an investment in a second grand-format press.

The business is on track to achieve £4.2m in sales this year, compared to £3.3m last year and the company is targeting £5m next year. According to Porter, just as importantly the firm has so far maintained margin as it has grown.

Once we got through £3m, which we had been trying to achieve for a number of years, it signalled a real step change in the business. We were lucky to get the services of ex-Service Graphics finance director David Wicks, who came on board to help drive growth and without him we might not have seen all these opportunities or grasped them," said Porter.

Wicks joined the business last April in a business development/finance role and helped Porter create a three-year growth plan.

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