Astracast, the well-established and renowned sink brand founded in 1984 is under new ownership. In August this year the company was acquired by business man and entrepreneur Darren Cooper who identified a huge opportunity to turn the company around by reinvestment, restructuring and new focus.
Astracast was formerly part of the Spring Ram Corporation’s group of companies specialising in home improvement products. Based in Leeds it grew through the 1990’s to become the leading sink brand in the UK. Today, with manufacturing bases in both UK and Malta, it is still one of the largest sink manufacturers in the world. However, in recent years the company slipped from its position as number one and struggled to maintain its profitability due to its structure and product base.
All this will change under the new ownership which is bringing a fresh focus, a new direction and a new energy to the company. “We are going to take the brand back to great! Our aim is to become the number one brand once again over the next 3 years. By removing the resource-draining, unprofitable baths sector, and putting all our resource and energy into the core business of sinks we will take the business to the next level. Astracast has a heritage and expertise second to none, and with this we have the solid foundations upon which to rebuild the brand,” comments Managing Director Darren Cooper.
The transformation is already underway. In the last six months plans have been made to replace the old, inefficient factories with two new ISO9001 approved factories: one in Leeds (42,000 sq. ft.) and one in Malta (75,000sq ft.). The new factories will be up and running by Q1 2018. These are purpose built for new business growth; the new factories will have 50% more capacity available to accommodate expected UK and export growth for Astracast. A brand new 4000 sq. foot HQ will also open in Leeds in February 2018.
Astracast has exciting product developments in the pipeline and is investing in the design and production of a new range of sinks in composite, stainless steel and ceramics. This new portfolio will be unveiled at KBB2018 but for a sneak preview the new range will include a new composite undermount/flush fit family and Companion Plus, a fully accessorised sink system plus a range of boiling water solutions.
“Existing customers are fully on board with the brand transformation and see this as a huge positive step”, comments Darren Cooper. “One of the strongest demonstrations of commitment comes from Travis Perkins who have just agreed a new 2.5 year contract with the company to sell its brand, moving from OEM. Long term commitment has also been agreed with all other major customers”.
This business transition is ongoing, as the new management team prepares the foundations that are needed to take the brand to the next level. As well as the new more efficient manufacturing bases, there will also be greater focus and investment in its staff, improved training, better logistics and new brand identity.
Astracast will showcase its new brand image, new products and much more at KBB2018.