Fit-out specialist sets out options for expansion and restructuring on the back of strong 2004 results

Private retail fit-out specialist Styles & Wood has embarked on an expansion plan, and said it aimed to double turnover to £300m in 2006.

Chairman Gerard Quiligotti and chief executive Neil Davies this week visited London to speak to analysts about options for the structure of the business, including a possible flotation on the stock market.

The duo, who founded the company in 1995, timed the visit to coincide with the publication of the company’s 2004 annual results.

In 2004 pre-tax profit rose 20% to £4.9m. Turnover rose 9% to £145m. Last year was the 10th successive year that Styles & Wood achieved growth, and Davies said that the company was now looking for “the next big move”.

He said options included a flotation, investment from the private equity market, a merger with another company or an acquisition. “We are looking for a bit of playing the field now,” he said. “We have achieved a 15% compound growth and we are in a position to double the size the business is now.”

Any acquisition would be in the support services sector, where Davies said the firm could increase its margins.

Quiligotti said plans for the next “step-change” of the business were at an early stage, but the management team hoped to shape a three-year business plan from 2006.

Quiligotti and Davies said they had not yet formally appointed a financial consultant to advise on the expansion drive, but that they had consulted advisers that the company had used in the past.

Styles & Wood has a client base of about 30 of the UK’s 50 major retailers, including Boots, Debenhams and John Lewis, and it works on contracts ranging from £40,000 to £15m.

The business is divided into four units – Store Fit, Store Planning, Store Data and Store Care. It is based in Altrincham in Cheshire, but operates throughout the UK from offices in Nottingham, Milton Keynes and London. It employs 210 staff.