Numbers fizz at electrical wholesaler Westbank as sales top £120m

Belfast-based group reports 22% spark in turnover in the year to August 2023

Specialist retailer Park Electrical Services in Belfast
Westbank Group, which owns specialist retailer Park Electrical Services in Belfast, saw its sales soar by 22% to more than £120m in the year to August 2023, its latest accounts show

Belfast-based wholesaling and retailing electrical specialist Westbank Group has seen its numbers fizz in the last year, in which it reported double-digit percentage growth in both sales and profits.

The company, established 50 years ago by Jim McConachie (78), who remains one of its directors, owns Park Electrical Services (PES), the UK’s fastest growing power, control and automation technical distributor.

Accounts freshly filed at companies House show that Westbank’s turnover sparked by 22%, rising from £94.5 million to £120.4 million in the year to August 31 last.

Bottom-line profit soared from £7.6m to £10.3m, and the group’s net asset now sit at £10.5m.

The accounts show that 13% of Westbank’s sales now come in markets outside the UK, which includes £15.7m worth of trade in the US (up from £11.9m a year earlier).

Westbank, whose registered office is in the Harbour Estate, is the holding company for a group of wholesaling and retailing electrical component companies operating in the UK and Ireland.

Over the year its average staff numbers were 206, up slightly on 2022, and its wages bill over the period rose from £8.5m to just shy of £10m.

During the trading year Westbank acquired 100% of the share capital in PES Group (formerly Maintest Engineering). Prior to this it held just a 50% share.

Park Electrical Services (PES) is one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of power, control and automation products.

Trading since 1979, it is a product of Northern Ireland’s long history of creative thinking and engineering excellence and has developed partnerships with world leading suppliers like Siemens, Finder, Weidmuller, Eldon, Carlo Gavazzi and PR.

Meanwhile separate figures show that the UK’s manufacturing sector sprung back into growth in May as levels of production surged and business optimism hit a more than two-year high.

The closely watched S&P Global/CIPS UK manufacturing PMI survey rose to 51.2 in May, after falling back to 49.1 in the previous month.

Any reading above 50 means a sector is in growth, while a score below this means it is contracting.

Production expanded at the quickest rate since April 2022, with consumer, intermediate and investment goods registering expansions.

Firms said they were getting more new work than in previous months, while they also reported renewed efforts to complete existing contracts.