One of Gloucestershire’s oldest family firms hits record turnover

One of the county’s oldest family businesses, Watts of Lydney, has announced a near 20 per cent jump in turnover to over £52 million ­— firmly placing it on the forthcoming SoGlos Gloucestershire Top 100 2023.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Watts Truck & Van, part of Watts of Lydney Group, has received a gold award from DAF Trucks UK for 'outstanding achievement in all disciplines of the business'.

It started as a general store and bakery in Lydney in the Forest of Dean more than 170 years ago, but Watts Of Lydney Group is now one of Gloucestershire's oldest family firms ­— and it has just announced a leap in turnover to more than £52 million.

The group, which employs 200 staff, is involved in everything from truck and van sales to property and manufacturing, with two businesses producing polyurethane and thermoplastic sheet.

It was already one of the firms on SoGlos's radar for inclusion in our Top 100 Businesses in Gloucestershire 2023 super hot list, which will feature the 100 biggest firms in the county by turnover, but following its most recent results, it's now well and truly on our list.

John Thurston, chairman of Watts of Lydney Group, said: ‘During 2022, all businesses increased their turnover, lifting sales by 18 per cent, to £52 million, over 2021 (from £44 million). The principal increase was the volume of trucks sold.

‘Excluding profit on any disposal of assets, our operating profit increased by £270,000. The reduced gross profit margin was due to higher percentage of low margin vehicles sales and substantial inflationary costs.’

He added that the company's ‘overall strong performance’ was topped by DAF Trucks awarding Watts Truck & Van with its 2022 Gold Award for 'outstanding achievement in all disciplines of the business'.

‘All three of our sites were accredited with the highest DAF Trucks status for the seventh year running following outstanding performance against manufacturer's targets in parts, customer service and truck sales,’ said Thurston.

Turnover at Watts Group's Watts Urethane Products increased by 10 per cent to £4.4 million and its Plysolene business 'continued to be profitable and make improvements’, but both were battling the headwinds of inflation.

The Top 100 Businesses in Gloucestershire has been made possible by partners GFirst LEP, The Growth Hub, Gloucestershire College and law firm Lodders and is due to be published before the end of June 2023.

More on Watts of Lydney Group

More from Business