Rich List 2012: No.9 - Jacques Murray (£650m)
Performance is warming up again at the Andrew Sykes Group, the Wolverhampton air conditioning and heating hire firm largely owned by Jacques Gaston Murray. After a difficult recession for the company profits were up in 2010.
Revenue for 2010 was up to £55.9 million from £54 million and operating profit rose to £13.9 million from £12.9 million. However, the company continues to reduce its cost base and made further inroads into its debt, while taking care not to damage the business with unnecessary cuts in expenditure.
First half figures for 2011 indicate a slight dip in profit, largely down to a poor summer which never got hot enough to help the air conditioning business.
The company has also been investing with £3 million going on new plant and equipment, and expanded its overseas operations with the opening of its fourth Dutch depot in the north-east of Holland to provide a platform for future expansion.
At 92, Jacques Gaston Murray shows no signs of slowing down. His other business is West Yorkshire-based London Security, one of Europe’s leading fire protection businesses, of which he owns 98 per cent. The business has been performing well and the combined value of London Security and Andrew Sykes is around £300 million.