Member news - Multisol continues to oil wheels

CHESHIRE-based chemicals distributor Multisol Group remains on course for a potential flotation of the business next year after posting "record" improvements in turnover and profits for the year to March 31, 2010. 

The firm's pre-tax profits before exceptionals were up by 25% to £6.7m as group turnover edged up by 3.3% to £117.2m.

Chief executive Paul Oliphant said he was "quite pleased" with the performance, particularly as it had been achieved against a backdrop of declining sales in the sector overall.

Multisol Group is a distributor of oils, lubricants and fuel additives which had been owned by the Banner and Thomas families until a buyout led by Oliphant three years ago.

He argued that the company had managed to maintain growth since its year end due to the nature of its product offer.

"We're in more specialist product development," he said. The firm sells products and ingredients which Oliphant argued are typically purer than those offered by many competitors. As a result they are more popular with firms striving for better environmental standards.

"The market has rebounded quite a lot," said Oliphant. "We've had a strong start to our 2011 financial year and we're seeing some reasonable returns both in top line and profit growth."

The firm is continuing to be advised on future funding options by Warrington-based corporate financier Dow Schofield Watts.

Its last buyout in April 2008 was funded by KBC Business Capital - the asset finance arm of Belgian bank KBC. It subsequently withdrew from the asset finance market in the UK and has sold the business division US-based lender PNC Financial Services Group - a deal which completed on Monday (22nd November).

A source told that the firm had been lining up a potential stockmarket flotation in the early part of next year but Oliphant said that no decision had yet been taken on when the business would seek external funding.

"We're evaluating our options," he said.