Gifts Today magazine

Ceramic leader acquires Royal Crown Derby

Ceramic industry business leader Kevin Oakes acquires 100 per cent of the share capital in fine bone china manufacturer Royal Crown Derby

Ceramic Industry business leader, Kevin Oakes, has today announced that he has acquired 100 per cent of the share capital in fine bone china manufacturer, Royal Crown Derby, for an undisclosed sum.

In doing so, Kevin has chosen to exit one of the world’s leading tableware manufacturers, Steelite International, after a 39-year tenure, the last 10 of which were spent as chief executive.

Kevin says: “Royal Crown Derby is one of the UK’s most iconic brands and I’ve always passionately believed that the business can succeed on the global stage. I led Steelite International’s acquisition of Royal Crown Derby in 2012 and following today’s announcement I plan to invest heavily in the business to ensure our long term vision is realised.”

When asked about what today’s acquisition will mean for the future of the business and its employees, Mr. Oakes comments: “Market conditions remain extremely challenging and changes will be implemented across all areas of the business to ensure it is appropriately structured and resourced. We are committed to long-term manufacturing in Derby and I’m confident that with targeted investments in our team, our factory and product innovation, the outlook for the business is both positive and exciting.”

Kevin leaves Steelite International in a strong position having taken sales from £45m to over £100m in 10 years, whilst achieving record profitability in 2015. He says: “Steelite International has been my life’s work and I am delighted to hand the business over to the existing management team. I now look forward to concentrating my efforts on ensuring Royal Crown Derby goes from strength to strength.”

Sales and marketing director, Christopher Oakes says: “Over recent years we have successfully diversified the business into the luxury hospitality market and we are now proud suppliers to leading establishments such as The Dorchester, Warwick Castle and Waldorf Astoria. Whilst this strategy is paying dividends, the markets in which we operate are constantly changing and therefore we need to be proactive to forge ahead of our competitors.”

“The significant experience and skill of our workforce allows us to introduce new, technically challenging products and we will shortly be launching tableware and giftware collections that we believe will be hugely successful with both new and existing customers. I firmly believe that Kevin’s vast experience in the industry, combined with targeted investment, will accelerate our growth momentum and we look forward to the challenges and successes that lie ahead of us”




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