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UK:  City Refrigeration Holdings (UK) Ltd has reported 33 per cent fall in annual pre-tax profits to £7.54 million for the 2014 year ending December.

The facilities management and project services company, led by Glasgow entrepreneur Sir Willie Haughey, had reported pre-tax profits of £11.39 million for the 2013 year, which included a £2 million exceptional profit from an intellectual property rights disposal, which had lifted profits overall 53 per cent on the prior year.

Operating profits, excluding exceptional items, dipped 22 per cent in the 2014 year to £7 million, down from £9 million the prior year, excluding exceptional items.

City Refrigeration Holdings said operating profits includes investment in new business development and contributions to local and national charities which rose to £0.9 million in 2014, up from £0.6 million the prior year.

The group notes in accounts now filed with Companies House, the retail market in which it operates was “very challenging and increasingly competitive” in the 2014 year.

It notes market conditions resulted in a reduction in facilities management turnover, “both in the UK and overseas”, with overseas operations also “adversely impacted by exchange rate movements during 2014”.

However, the group said the reduction in facilities management, which includes cleaning services, was “largely offset” by strong growth from its Project Services business, which includes construction services and installation of refrigeration, bakery, security and air conditioning systems.

Overall, turnover was broadly flat on the prior year at £455.6 million (2014: £458.5 million).

A divisional breakdown of the 2014 year shows turnover from the facilities management division dipped to £354.1 million (2014: £377.2 million) while turnover from project services turnover rose to £102.9 million (2014: £83.2 million).

After tax profits for the 2014 year were £5.51 million, down from £9.03 million in 2013.

City Refrigeration Holdings said it employed on average 12,258 people in 2014, broadly in line with the prior year.

 

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UK: King’s Lynn based refrigeration manufacturer Williams has installed a massive photovoltaic solar panel system across two of its factory’s roofs. The installation comprising of 2,298 panels is one of the largest rooftop installations in Europe.

The solar panels are expected to generate 496,000kWh of electricity per year, reducing the company’s annual CO2 emissions by 297 tonnes while cutting energy costs dramatically.

“Williams has a strong environmental focus,” said Tim Smith, the company’s managing director.

“The PV installation is part of The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and the latest project under our Greenlogic initiative – which commits us to developing eco-friendly refrigeration, whilst minimising the impact of our manufacturing on the environment. We are proud to have held ISO14001 environmental management certification for all our global operations since 2009.

“Increasingly our customers are focussed on their own environmental commitments. Many of the larger groups look to us, as their supplier, to support these objectives. At Williams we are all very proud of our ‘green’ record, which this installation enhances enormously.

“Increasingly our customers are focused on their own environmental commitments. Many of the larger groups look to us, as their supplier, to support these objectives. At Williams we are all very proud of our ‘green’ record, which this installation enhances enormously.”   

Williams Refrigeration installs solar energy system

Williams worked closely with the installer, Styles & Wood, to ensure the safety of the workforce whilst avoiding any interruptions to Williams’ day-to-day activities. In fact, throughout the 12 week installation, it was business as usual.   

“New incentives and funding options are allowing more progressive companies to take up the option of solar PV, which in the past would have been too difficult and costly,” says Tim. “They can make an important contribution to the UK’s carbon reduction objectives.”

Under its Greenlogic programme the company has developed a variety of energy-saving technologies and continues to look to ways to reduce its impact on the environment – another recent milestone was achieving zero to landfill.

 

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SAUDI ARABIA:  Emerson Climate Technologies has announced the opening of its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and celebrates the launch of Emerson Climate Technologies Arabia LLC.

The new facility, located at the in Dammam, is approximately 3,000m2 and is fully equipped to produce and assemble various refrigeration condensing units specifically for the Saudi Arabian market.

Robert T. Sharp, Executive Vice President, Emerson Business Leader, Emerson Climate Technologies said "The Middle East & Africa is a key geographical region for Emerson Climate Technologies" said Sharp. "And a regional focus is an important part of our strategy. This is our second manufacturing facility in the region, and we are confident it will help deliver value for our customers in KSA."

Emerson Climate Technologies started assembling condensing units in Dubai, UAE, in 2003 and has seen demand in the region continue to rise, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Emerson therefore decided to expand its production and invest in a new, state-of-the-art facility in the Kingdom.

"Emerson Climate Technologies is committed to improving customer service in the region. Having a local presence, fostering shorter lead times to customers, and improving customer service levels will truly help deliver the most value for our customers in the Kingdom," said K. Jayakumar, vice president, general manager Saudi Arabia.

 

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UK:  Clean cold technology company Dearman has teamed up with their technology development partner Hubbard to exhibit their revolutionary zero-emission transport refrigeration technology at the forthcoming Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution (TCS&D) show.

Dearman and Hubbard, part of the global Zanotti group, have been working together to bring the environmentally friendly and economically attractive Dearman engine-powered transport refrigeration system to market.

Dearman is developing a range of highly efficient zero-emission cold and power technologies, which utilise cutting-edge liquid air engines. The first such technology to come to market will be a clean transport refrigeration system, which has been on trial since March in a joint project with MIRA, Loughborough University and Air Products. Dearman and Hubbard will begin real-world commercial trials later this year and further trials will then commence in 2016 in multiple international markets.

Pat Maughan, MD, Hubbard Products, said: “Dearman and Hubbard have been working intensively to bring this revolutionary concept in transport refrigeration to fruition. We are now at the point where the everyday practicalities of manufacturing, operating and maintaining this new technology are reaching important stages. The overall project, whilst testing our ingenuity is extremely exciting, and for once the phrase ‘bringing a breath of fresh air’ to refrigeration is totally appropriate.”

The zero-emission system being developed by Dearman and Hubbard will offer significant environmental benefits as the system emits no harmful gases or matter, such as NOx or particulates – only clean air or nitrogen, whereas existing diesel transport refrigeration units are can emit up to 29 times as much pollutant as a Euro 6 truck engine.

The system is also being designed to be cost competitive when compared to existing diesel systems – particularly compared to other zero-emission alternatives – and is expected to deliver ongoing operational cost savings.

Other applications of Dearman technology also in development include a backup power system for the built environment and a hybrid engine for buses. Dearman has been shortlisted for a LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Award, which will be announced at LCV-Cenex in September where a broader range of Dearman’s clean cool technologies will be on show.

The TCS&D show takes place at the Peterborough Arena, 16-17 September 2015 and is the UK's only dedicated event for professionals involved in the perishable product supply chain. For more information or to register, visit www.tcsdshow.com

 

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UK:  Creditors are facing a shortfall of almost £3m following the administration of a 130-year old Cardiff-based refrigeration and air-conditioning business.

Joint administrators Richard Hawes and Matthew Cowlishaw of Deloitte said the only secured creditor of the business was Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, which had a fixed charge of £342,000 over the book debts, with preferential creditors being owed about £40,000.

The administrators said they expected to repay both the secured and preferential creditors in full leaving a surplus of about £100,000. However, unsecured creditors who are owed a combined £3.05m are set to miss out with Deloitte estimating a shortfall of £2.9m.

In its most recent full-year accounts, covering the year ending 31 December 2014, MacWhirter declared a turnover of £8.3m with the administrators saying it traded at "break-even level".

In the four month preceding the administration, from 1 January to 31 April 2015, it reported revenues of £3.2m.

During the 2013/14 financial year MacWhirter expanded its portfolio of installation work to include mechanical and electrical works. Following which it suffered some cash flow issues but the administrators said cost saving measures, including redundancies managed to put it back on track.

But in January 2015, the company's chairman Tony MacWhirter passed away after a period of illness. This had "a significant impact on the work that the company could deliver".

It began to see a "sharp downturn in gross margin on two large installation jobs in Bristol and Southampton" and senior management and directors decided to implement further redundancies to try and negate this losses.

In June 2015, the business was notified by one of its major customers of a substantial liquidated damages claim as a result of delays and refused to pay about £300,000 owed to the company which seriously affected Macwhirter's ability to trade, following which the decision was taken call in the administrators.

MacWhirter can trace its history back to 1882 and celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2012. In 1883, its founder William McWhirter patented one of the first instruments to measure volts and amps. The business opened in Cardiff in 1912 and began specialising in refrigeration in the 1930s.

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End of an Era as MacWhirter goes into administration

 

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UK:  Fujitsu Air Conditioning has appointed Leeds-based Steve Pickles as VRF business development manager for the Midlands and northern England. His task is to work with consultants, end users and contractors in conjunction with our distribution partners’ to develop the selection of Fujitsu VRF air conditioning equipment.

Says Fujitsu national accounts manager Stuart Eagleton: “Steve will be a real asset, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience, as he has been part of the industry for more than 30 years, serving with leading manufacturers, distributors and contractors.

“One of his first priorities will be to develop and maintain relationships with consultants, end users and target contractors using his wealth of industry experience.”

Says Steve: “I am really looking forward to my new role. I was looking for a new challenge and Fujitsu is an industry respected brand, with a range that offers flexibility as well as the backup that gives our customers the confidence to select Fujitsu on their projects.”

 

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UK:  Green Point, the specialist compressor remanufacturing operation launched by Bitzer, is expanding its service to include other makes of compressor.

When launched last year, the company handled only Bitzer units. From September, however, it is extending its premium quality total remanufacturing operation to include compressors made by Bock, Carrier, Copeland, and Trane.

Will Pribyl, General Manager of Green Point in the UK, said: “The aim always was to begin by remanufacturing Bitzer compressors. Having successfully established the business, and with a growing customer base, we are now widening the offer to include machines from other manufacturers.”

He added: “Customers tell us they appreciate the outstanding quality of our Bitzer units, and are keen to have access to similar high quality remanufactured compressors from other manufacturers. It goes without saying that we will be adopting the same uncompromising approach to standards as with our own equipment.”

To support the growth, Green Point is expanding the UK engineering team with the appointment of France Bootun as Remanufacture Technician.

Bitzer UK launched Green Point in Spring 2014, becoming the only compressor manufacturer with a remanufacturing operation in the UK. Its objective was to bring a new dimension of engineering quality and attention to detail to every stage of the remanufacturing process.

Backed by Bitzer’s unrivalled technical know-how, it is able to upgrade compressors to as-new standard from any state or condition. The company always fits new motors and replaces all key wear components, while offering machines at a price point around 30 per cent below new.

“A key issue in the market is availability, as most orders arise from breakdown situations, “ says Will Pribyl. “Green Point has a huge advantage here, as we are part of the wider European and indeed global Green Point network. If we don’t have a particular model in stock, we have access to stock held across the network. This has proved invaluable already, enabling us to supply exactly the unit required at very short notice.”

The quality of remanufactured units is reflected not only in excellent reliability and extended working life. Green Point-remanufactured compressors are up to 10 per cent more efficient than some competing units, due to the thoroughness of the refurbishment process and use of state-of-the-art motor technology

For more details, please contact Will Pribyl at will.pribyl@greenpointuk.co.uk or call 08454 603007.

 

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Fujitsu air conditioningUK:  Fujitsu has released details of its latest product training courses running from this autumn through to spring 2016.

In all their are 10 courses ranging from an introduction to Fujitsu products, to hands-on training courses in the installation, commissioning and troubleshooting of VRF central controllers, splits and multi-splits, VRF and mini-VRF.

There are also specialist courses on advanced service and troubleshooting, including Service Tool, Air to Water (ATW) systems, VRF system application and design, and a new course on their Design Simulator software.

The other new course is on the design, installation and commissioning of AHU DX Kit and Freeverter Options.

Fujitsu say their courses have been developed to make contractors much more fluent in designing and installing Fujitsu air conditioning and deepen knowledge of Fujitsu’s air conditioning products, their benefits and their ideal applications.

All of the air conditioning courses are taught by Fujitsu’s highly skilled in-house engineers and are free of charge and delegates receive a certificate on completion. The scheduled courses take place at Fujitsu’s state of the art training facilities at its headquarters in Elstree, Hertfordshire.

Click here to access the full list of courses or to download the training request form. Alternatively you can contact FG Eurofred at training@fgeurofred.co.uk for further information.

 

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GERMANY:  The BITZER Group are mourning the loss of CEO and company owner Peter Schaufler, who has sadly passed away unexpectedly in Salzburg at the age of 74. Peter Schaufler managed BITZER with endless dedication for 36 years and turned the long-standing company into the world’s largest independent manufacturer of refrigeration compressors.

Peter Schaufler took charge of BITZER in 1979 and systematically gave the company an international focus. He turned the Swabian company into a global player and a driver of innovation for the entire refrigeration and air conditioning sector. BITZER now counts on 3,400 employees in more than 90 countries and turnover of 657 million euros, making it 50 times the size it was Peter Schaufler took the helm.

Peter's decisions demonstrated entrepreneurial courage at all times. For example, he founded a joint venture with a Chinese company in Beijing back in 1994. The Peter Schaufler era was characterized by values such as hard work, ingenuity and quality, which are now firmly rooted in the BITZER corporate culture. His forward-looking business policy and his willingness to rise to challenges allowed him to conquer new markets, and to successfully introduce compressor technologies to the market, such as screw compressors in 1983 and scroll compressors in 2002.

Peter Schaufler was highly committed to the common good throughout his life and founded the SCHAUFLER FOUNDATION in 2005 in an effort to bring together entrepreneurship, science, research and art. THE SCHAUFLER FOUNDATION is the main sponsor of the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences’ Valerius Füner Prize, which recognises the outstanding achievements of mechanical engineering students in the areas of refrigeration, air conditioning and environmental technology. 

Schaufler and his wife Christiane also made generous donations to welfare institutions and gave the public access to their extensive art collection comprising more than 3,000 pieces at the SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen from 2010 on. Since then, the museum has earned itself a reputation, both locally and internationally, for putting on top-calibre exhibitions. The SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen will continue to serve as a place where contemporary art is discussed, as Peter Schaufler would have wished.

2010 also marked the year in which Peter Schaufler was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to the fields of culture and science.

He received many awards for his business successes and services to society, including the 2014 Gründerpreis Baden-Württemberg for company founders, in recognition of his life’s work, which was presented by the region’s Minister for Economic Affairs Dr Nils Schmid.

The family has since held a quiet funeral.

 

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UK:  Toshiba is targeting growth in Ireland as its resurgent economy opens up significant opportunities in both the commercial and residential air conditioning and heat pump sectors.

The company has appointed Ken Lawlor as sales manager for Ireland to spearhead the strategy, with a brief to develop both the distribution and direct sales channel, working closely with long-established Toshiba distributor GT Phelan.

Ken Lawlor, Sales manager, Toshiba Air Conditioning, IrelandKen Lawlor said: “As the fastest growing economy in the EU, we believe there are huge opportunities for us to grow in Ireland. The property sector continues to rebound and, in particular, we are seeing significant demand for premium office space – as Ireland continues to attract inward investment and relocation of companies due to the low rate of corporation tax and dynamic workforce.”

He added: “Due to the excellent work of our distributors over many years, Toshiba has a fantastic reputation in Ireland as a high quality brand, with a combination of industry leading efficiency, reliability and technical excellence. We will be working closely with GT Phelan over the coming months and years to build on this and realise the potential.”

The strategy is already bearing fruit, with the company securing two major orders for VRF air conditioning over the past month.

The move is part of Toshiba’s strategy to double air conditioning sales by 2020. The company is targeting growth in Ireland across its range of class-leading split systems, high performance VRF air conditioning and air-to-air and air-to-water heat pumps.

In addition to Class A office space, the company sees a major opportunity in the domestic market, driven by the target to build 50,000 state and private new homes a year. With a mandatory requirement for a component of renewable energy, heat pumps are seen as an attractive option, particularly for social housing where their efficiency can dramatically reduce householders’ power bills.

David Dunn, general manager of Toshiba Air ConditioningDavid Dunn, general manager of Toshiba Air Conditioning, said: “Ireland is important to us, and we are investing significantly to develop our presence and support our growing customer base. This means increasing our support for the distributor channel as well as developing a component of direct sales, as we have done successfully for many years in the UK.

“Following Ken’s appointment, customers in the Republic and North have the technical and commercial back-up they need on the ground to compete and win. Ken will help fast-track communications and make sure we chase down every opportunity and provide a first class service.”

He added: “We are proud of the heritage and brand strength Toshiba has in Ireland, as a result of the outstanding work by GT Phelan over many years. The company is one of Toshiba’s longest-serving distributors in Europe, something we acknowledged and celebrated not so long ago with an award to the company during our distributor conference, held in Dublin.

“We look forward to building on our successful partnership, and working to maximise the opportunities presented for the benefit of all concerned.”

 

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