Arc-Gen sets ambitious export-led growth targets

By Murray Pollok17 November 2010

Mark Hodgkins, chief executive of Arc-Gen.

Mark Hodgkins, chief executive of Arc-Gen.

The chief executive of Arc-Gen has told IRN that the company aims to triple its revenues by 2015, with 50% of its business generated outside the UK.

Arc-Gen has hitherto focused almost entirely on the UK and Ireland market selling welder-generators imported from Japan, Allmand lighting towers from the US, Hilta-branded pumps and other products.

The company acquired UK lighting tower and genset manufacturer SMC in the summer, and Mark Hodgkins, Arc-Gen's chief executive, told IRN that the SMC brand, its lighting towers and international dealer network would be used as a vehicle to target export growth.

"The longer term plan is to make the business grow at least three times by 2015. I think it's doable, with exports being 50% of the whole", he said. Mr Hodgkins‘ own background is in mergers and acquisitions - he spent almost nine years with Ernst & Young - and acquisitions could play a part in expanding Arc-Gen, although were unlikely to be "transformative" in scale.

He said Arc-Gen would continue to sell the Allmand towers in the UK; "We have a number of customers who like the Allmand product. We have a very very good relationship with Allmand."

Arc-Gen is owned by family company Morris & Co, of which Mr Hodgkins is also finance director. He said Morris acquired Arc-Gen in 2006 because they could see an opportunity to take a small, well-run business and make it bigger; "There was a lack of marketing and investment - it could have been a much bigger business. The first strategy was that we wanted to sell more products to the existing customer base."

Since acquiring Arc-Gen the company has acquired pump and pressure washer manufacturer Hilta TW and added additional product lines such as BBA pumps from the Netherlands and motorway crash barriers.

Mr Hodgkins said Morris & Co was interested in long term investments; "We have a philosophy of holding on to companies for a very long time indeed - 50 years is the average. We take long term decisions for long term value creation."

Read the full interview with Mr Hodgkins in the Jan-Feb issue of IRN.

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