Despite the impact of Covid-19 and after what has been a turbulent year Southgate Packaging, has reported significant growth, nearly doubling turnover.
As one of Europe’s leading packaging companies, Southgate has reinforced its position as an industry leader and remains at the forefront of the packaging market. Just last month, the business was listed in The Sunday Times International Track 200 which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest growing international sales, measured over the last two years.
The success follows the appointment of new Managing Director, Craig Turner, in late 2019, who having worked in the packaging industry for 13 years utilised his expertise to respond quickly to the crisis, amplifying new product innovation to counteract what was inevitably going to lead to a decline in sales.
Southgate has a wide customer base, ranging from over 600 distributors across Europe to a portfolio of large e-commerce clients to those specialising in warehousing and logistics.
Craig Turner comments: “When Covid struck we adapted quickly and innovatively. Responding to market demand, a new welfare range was created which featured a hands free, foot operated sanitiser station, the first on the market.
“From July onwards, the e-commerce boom contributed to an increase in product sales and by the end of the year we were breaking boundaries for growth within the sector. It allowed us to remain profitable, create 15 new jobs and grow with our customers.”
Craig explains the three key pillars which allowed the business to enhance its performance and outperform despite the challenges of Covid-19. He said: “Firstly, the quality and ability of our incredible team, who proved agile in the way they collaborated, coming up with quick solutions to support both our customers and the supply chain.
“Secondly, the depth and breadth of our current customer base who remained loyal during the pandemic, and thirdly, the introduction of many new sustainable product innovations.”
A family run business, Southgate dates back to 1966 specialising in innovative product development and global sourcing.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Craig started his career at the packaging company back in 2008 and quickly climbed the ranks working in roles across the business, from Operations to Business Development, before becoming a Board Director, and then taking on his new role as Managing Director in 2019.
Looking ahead to the next year, Craig recognises that there are two key themes trending in the sector – the boom in e-commerce which is set to treble in the next four years and the sustainability drive across the market, especially in light of the Packaging Tax which will take affect from April 2022.
Southgate has launched a number of sustainable packaging products in the past year from carton sealing to pallet wrapping and void fill and plans to have a suite of sustainable options for every product. Just this month, kick starting the year with its sustainability focus, the business launched its Sustainability E-edition brochure to share its sustainable product line.
Craig continues: “Our ambition for the next 12 months is to invest in our people and our brand. Most importantly we’ll be focusing on NPD and our new business structure, looking at the macro economy to establish the key drivers and how we can tap into that potential. We’re excited for the future and believe we can continue to break boundaries in the sector.”