Franchise Brands posts record sales at Metro Rod

July 5, 2021

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) said its drainage solutions division Metro Rod has posted record sales for the six months to 30 June.

System sales at the B2B division increased by 21% compared with 2020 and 17% compared with 2019 to £23.8mln, with June in particular surging £4.3mln, up 41% from last year and 26% from 2019.

The wider group has benefited from the easing of lockdown restrictions across the UK.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement Franchises in the UK

Willow Pumps, which was acquired in October 2019, has greater exposure to hospitality and was more impacted by lockdown, but invoiced sales were up 9% compared with 2020.

The franchise business said Willow Pumps continues to facilitate the growth of pump-related work within Metro Rod, where pumps system sales have jumped 159% to £700,000.

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The B2C division has also performed strongly, and 40 new franchisees have been recruited taking the number of B2C franchisees to 393, the AIM-listed company said.

It added that it should deliver a full-year performance at least in line with market expectations.

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

“I have been pleased by the speed at which the demand for our services has grown as the lockdown restrictions have been lifted,” said executive chairman Stephen Hemsley.

“Throughout the pandemic I have been particularly encouraged by the resilience of our franchisees. Their entrepreneurial spirit and continued commitment to serve our customers gives me huge confidence in the future of Franchise Brands.”

By Giulia Bottaro

Source: Proactive Investors

£1million franchise grant fund launched to seed 200 new small businesses

June 1, 2021

Property maintenance franchise operator Fantastic Services has launched a £1million grant programme in the wake of Covid, aimed at backing the set-up of 200 new small businesses in the London area and around the UK.

Although the pandemic has changed the business landscape with many more firms struggling as recovery begins, demand for property-related services has boomed. Fantastic Services, which covers cleaning, gardening, handyman, pest control and removals, has expanded into 20 new areas in the past year.

The company’s grant initiative plans to meet the initial expenses for starting a home services business. Prime clients are those who have lost their job, the self-employed or those experiencing business struggles due to coronavirus.

Related: Home Services Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Home Service Franchises?

Anton Skarlatov, the co-founder and CEO of Fantastic Services, explained: “The grant covers most of the expenses for starting a working franchise business with Fantastic Services.”

Rune Sovndahl, the co-founder and board chairman, added: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have looked for ways to give back to the community, offering free services to NHS and frontline workers. With the new grant programme, we provide a viable alternative to employment through franchising and help anyone restart their career or business in a high-demand sector.”

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The Fantastic Services grant programme is suitable for tradespeople, technicians with experience in the services sector and people who are looking to change industries and will bring customer service skills to the table.

Franchisees can work on-site along with their team or manage several local ones in London and other areas across the UK. It’s geared for local service providers or self-employed tradespeople who offer one or a selection of services.

Related: Fantastic Services Franchise

HQ’s emphasis is on generating sales leads leaving franchisees to deliver the service. The company says it has invested £20m in bespoke technology platforms to streamline the booking process and work allocation.


Source: Express

Fantastic Services among the Top 25 franchises in the UK

June 5, 2020

Fantastic Services took the 23rd place for TOP UK franchises after Franchise Direct has published its yearly ranking that examines hundreds of brands across the country.

The company outshined world-class giants and ranked first among all companies in the home-services industry.

“Being ahead of well-respected franchisors is a great honour. Certainly, 2019 was a very successful year for Fantastic Services and we are proud of the accomplished work. However, now it’s time to focus on the current situation, to innovate, and continue reaching new heights,” said Anton Skarlatov, CEO and co-founder of the company.

Fantastic Services is a company that always perseveres towards the best results for their customers and franchisees and that’s the main reason for their growth.

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Adaptation and Innovation are the main components of 2020s success

The company explains that it attributes its success to the skilful franchisees and dedicated in-house experts. “During the COVID-19 crisis, we haven’t lost faith even for a second and we never doubted surviving the outbreak and remain on top of the franchise listings. However, we are proud and grateful for being classified as the 23rd best franchise in the UK by Franchise Direct,” explained Mr Skarlatov

Fantastic Services is continuously launching new services and adapting the traditional way of delivering property cleaning and maintenance. The company was among the first to provide Antiviral Sanitisation and Disinfection amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in London. They have also launched Minimal Contact, Emergency and We Do Any Chore services that turned out to be very successful.

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“Our purpose has always been to revolutionise the way people book services and the way our franchisees and their teams deliver them. We are more than happy to see that our innovative thinking and hard work are being recognised,” said Mr Skarlatov.

Many more successful years to come…

During the past year, the company welcomed 140 new franchise units to their Fantastic family in many industries, including cleaning, gardening, removals, pest control and handyman. What’s even more impressive, they’ve signed four new Area Development franchise contracts during the coronavirus crisis. “Many people perceive the situation as a great time to invest in the home-services sector. Seeing our response to the situation, they realised that we actually care about our franchisees. Aiming to follow our example, they became part of Fantastic Services and now run a successful business,” added Mr Skarlatov.

Related: Fantastic Services Franchise

Newcastle drainage franchise plans expansion after record £1m turnover

January 28, 2020

Drainage and plumbing franchise Drain Doctor has announced that it ended 2019 with a record £1m turnover.

The franchise, which emergency plumbing, blocked drains and drain repair service, has increased its staff numbers by 20 per cent in the last four years.

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The family-owned business is part of a national franchise network of over 55 Drain Doctor locations across the UK, and plans to expand this decade by reinvesting in new equipment.

Jim Watson, franchise owner, said: “2019 has been a fantastic year for the business and I am confident that we can continue to build on this success and raise our game even further going into 2020 and beyond.

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“Looking to the future, our focus is to further grow the commercial side of the business and reinvest in new drainage equipment and technology so we can expand our client base and work in new sectors, such as housebuilding, sports and hospitality.

Related: Drain Doctor Franchise

“We will also continue to increase our growing fleet of technicians and support staff, recruiting the best talent in the local area, and get involved in community related initiatives, such as DIY SOS, where the business can give something back.”

By Chloe Shakesby

Source: BDaily

Drainage expert to create new jobs with relocation

January 6, 2020

Drainage services specialist Metro Rod is set to relocate, in a move that is to create 10 jobs.

Banks Long & Co has sold “design-and-build” headquarters to the growing company, which is moving its team to the Riverside Enterprise Park in Saxilby.

Banks Long & Co acted on behalf of its clients, joint developers Stirlin and Castle Square Securities, in the sale of the hybrid building, which features an equal mix of warehousing and office space.

Metro Rod is a drainage contractor dealing with all types of drainage-related cleaning, repairs and associated services for a wide variety of commercial and domestic customers.

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Maindrain Lincs Director Spencer Horsfield – who trades the Metro Rod franchise covering all of Lincolnshire, North Cambridgeshire and the cities of Hull and Beverley – discussed relocating all staff who currently work out of the company’s premises in Nettleton, near Caistor: “We employ 26 people and it is great that they are all moving with us when we switch to Saxilby in February, when I am also looking to take on 10 more people.

“We currently operate a fleet of 26 vehicles. Our workload includes contracts with a wide range of clients, including local authorities, the majority of Facilities Management Companies and the major of construction firms within our territory.

“Our new premises enjoy an excellent location, giving us easy access to the A57, A1 and further afield, which will make it easier for us to service our network of clients.”

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Stirlin Development Manager Matt Padley said: “We have been working with Spencer and the team at Metro Rod on this exciting project for the past year, from design through to construction.

“We are delighted to see the building complete – it means a great deal to us that we’re able to help facilitate Metro Rod’s exciting business growth and expansion plan.

“It has been a pleasure to work with them on this project and support them throughout the process. We are also extremely pleased that their striking building has recently been selected for nomination by West Lindsey Building Control for the LABC Building Excellence Awards.”

Castle Square Securities Director George Lockwood said: “The sale of this quality hybrid unit to Metro Rod demonstrates the strength and attractiveness of this expanding business park, located off the A57 West of Lincoln.

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

“We are delighted to have assisted Metro Rod with its expansion and relocation.”

Banks Long & Co Associate Lewis Cove added: “Metro Rod’s new bespoke headquarters provide the company with 4,865 sq ft of working space. We wish Spencer and his team much success for the future.

“I am delighted to reveal that we have planning permission to develop three more design-and-build properties on the Enterprise Park, which would be suitable for warehouse, industrial and office use.

“We are confident these opportunities will appeal to companies seeking new premises which could be ready for them to move into within six months of agreeing terms.”

By Tess Egginton

Source: East Midlands Business Link

‘Strategic acquisition’ by Franchise Brands

December 17, 2019

The multi-brand franchisor, Franchise Brands, has announced the acquisition of Willow Pumps, a water pump supply, installation and servicing business to complement and expand its plumbing brand, Metro Rod.

A family-owned business, Willow Pumps was founded in 1992 by Ian Lawrence to offer pump installation both below and above-ground. It offers routine servicing to its clients to reduce pump failures or blockages and has built a client base of customers in the hospitality, retail and housebuilding sectors.

Metro Rod sees the acquisition as a strategic opportunity for the company and its franchisees who will be given the opportunity to upskill, identify and self-deliver pump work utilising Willow Pumps’ expertise. This additional pump work is also expected to enhance franchisee’s profitability said the company.

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Lawrence will continue as managing director of Willow Pumps, which currently employs 74 people, including 35 engineers, the majority of which operate from its main business premises at Aylesford, Kent. Lawrence will also join the senior management team at Franchise Brands.

Stephen Hemsley, executive chairman of Franchise Brands, commented: “The acquisition of Willow Pumps, a highly respected business and one of the leaders in the market, which Metro Rod has already worked alongside, provides the optimum way for Metro Rod to enter the specialist pump sector and develop this expertise across our franchise community.

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“The long-term aim of the Group is to be able to serve our valued commercial customers with a “water in, waste out” range of plumbing-related services on a national basis. I am really looking forward to working with Ian Lawrence and his high-quality management team to create a national leader for drainage, pump and plumbing services.”

Lawrence said: “I am very excited about building on our success to date as part of a larger, publicly-quoted group with significant ambitions in the drainage, pumps and plumbing markets. The Group’s management and wider resources will be of particular value as we continue to grow Willow Pumps under Franchise Brands’ ownership.”

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

Metro Rod has a national network of more than 400 engineers working from 43 franchised depots. It offers a range of services from CCTV surveys and drain clearance to fat and grease management. The company also supports commercial clients with reactive and planned preventative maintenance services.

Source: Franchise World

Franchises expand into Ireland for first time

December 12, 2019

Metro Rod and Barking Mad – both of which are part of the Franchise Brands group – have entered Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for the first time.

The former is a commercial drainage specialist which has opened a franchise in Dundonald, allowing it to directly provide its drain clearance and maintenance services across Northern Ireland.

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It now has 43 depots across the UK.

Dog sitting services provider Barking Mad has launched its first international franchise in the Galway and Limerick area as part of its ambitious expansion plans.

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Stephen Hemsley, executive chairman of Macclesfield-based Franchise Brands, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our presence in Ireland with new franchisees for Metro Rod and Barking Mad, which we believe bring differentiated services to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, respectively.

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

“This further move into Ireland demonstrates the continued momentum at Franchise Brands as we continue to invest in the infrastructure to support the development, growth and profitability of our franchisees.

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

“I am certain that our new franchisees have a bright future and I look forward to seeing them grow successful businesses.”

Source: Insider Media

Drain Doctor welcomes first solo female franchisee with launch of new Edinburgh division

November 15, 2019

National plumbing and drainage business welcomes first solo female franchisee with launch of Drain Doctor Edinburgh.

Drain Doctor, the UK’s leading full service combined commercial and domestic plumbing and drainage organisation, has welcomed it’s first solo female franchise owner, Rachael Parry, with the launch of Drain Doctor Edinburgh.

Prior to the launch of her new plumbing and drainage franchise, Rachael spent 14 years working in Financial Services where she held the position of Product Manager at several blue-chip organisations, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco Bank.

Within these roles, Rachael was responsible for creating and implementing action plans to drive trade, hit targets and deliver results, skills that will prove invaluable to the day to day running of her business.

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Rachael’s lifelong passion for the industry, alongside her experience of working within finance and managing teams, will drive the success of her business; she often recalls how she wishes she had trained as a plumber when she was at school to capture the female tradesman market.

Having just reached her milestone 40th birthday, Rachael decided that it was time to achieve this lifelong ambition of being her own boss and setting up a plumbing and drainage business.

Not wanting to start a new company from scratch, Rachael chose to go down the franchising route and make an investment in a sector and with a brand which was well known and growing fast.

Drain Doctor fitted the bill, particularly as it was part of Neighbourly, part of the world’s largest parent company of home service brands, with a franchise network of over 3,700 franchisees worldwide.

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The new office, which is based in Winchburgh, West Lothian, is ready to start trading from 11 November 2019. Alongside her qualified drainage technician, Kieran, and Drain Doctor branded van, which is fully equipped with new jetting units, cameras and the latest technology, Rachael will be available to serve homeowners and businesses across Edinburgh.

Rachael said: “The devil on my shoulder wanted to take on a traditionally male dominated industry and to achieve success through doing things differently.

“I believe that my ethos and ways of working, combined with the Drain Doctor culture of delivering an exceptional level of service will be a winning combination.

“I am really looking forward to getting stuck in and to be a key player in my city.”

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Pierre Jeannes, managing director of Drain Doctor, added: “I’m proud and delighted to welcome Rachael into our close network of Drain Doctor franchisees as the first solo female franchise owner.

“With her proven experience managing teams in large blue-chip organisations, coupled with her passion for the industry and her enthusiasm to make the business work, Rachael exemplifies the kind of franchise owner we look for across our industry and shows other women the fantastic opportunities that exist in our growing network.”

Drain Doctor is the UK’s leading full service combined commercial and domestic plumbing and drainage organisation with over 55+ franchise locations, delivering a 24/7 local service to customers across the UK.

By John Glover

Source: Deadline News

Metro Rod welcomes the acquisition of Willow Pumps

October 20, 2019

Commercial drainage business, Metro Rod, has welcomed the acquisition of Willow Pumps by its parent company, Franchise Brands plc.

Founded in 1992, Willow Pumps is a leading water pump supply, installation and servicing business with a below-ground (foul water) and above-ground (fresh water) capability.

Working with Willow Pumps will enable Metro Rod to develop a complete range of market-leading pump services, further expanding its range of services to its commercial customers. At the same time, Metro Rod will also be able to offer its wide range of drainage services to Willow Pumps customers.

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This additional pump work will provide Metro Rod’s franchisees with an additional opportunity to grow their sales, whilst Willow Pumps will benefit from a significantly expanded delivery capability through Metro Rod’s national network of over 400 engineers working out of 43 depots across the UK.

Willow Pumps has a strong management team led by its founder, Ian Lawrence, who will continue as Managing Director, working together with Metro Rod, and will join Franchise Brand’s senior management team.

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Peter Molloy, Managing Director, said: “The acquisition of Willow Pumps is an exciting step forward as we expand the range of services we can offer to our commercial customers. It supports our ambition to provide a “water in, waste out” range of drainage, pumps and plumbing-related services on a national basis.”

Ian Lawrence, Founder and Managing Director of Willow Pumps, commented: “I am very excited about building on our success to date as part of a larger, publicly quoted group with significant ambitions in the drainage, pumps and plumbing markets.

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

“The Group’s management and wider resources will be invaluable as we continue to grow Willow Pumps under Franchise Brands’ ownership. My team and I welcome the opportunity to work with Metro Rod franchisees all across the country and we look forward to working with Metro Rod to deliver first-class pump services and support to their national customers.”

By Sarah OBeirne

Source: FMJ

Franchisee helps BBC’s DIY SOS for a third time

October 10, 2019

Drain Doctor Bristol has lent a helping hand for a third time by donating its service to help adapt a family home in Barnstaple, Devon for the BBC television programme, DIY SOS.

The programme, which is due to be broadcast later in the year, helps homeowners by improving their property following a change in circumstances. Drain Doctor’s involvement was carrying out a CCTV drainage survey before the rest of the work started on the property.

Drain Doctor Bristol attended the ‘Big Reveal’ to welcome the well-deserved family into their newly adapted home and had the opportunity to meet the family, as well as the host of the show Nick Knowles and his DIY SOS team.

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Carl Butterfield, director of Drain Doctor Bristol, said: “It’s been a huge pleasure to have donated our services yet again to another worthy cause. Despite being based over two hours away, we’re thrilled to have been involved in this project and are very touched to have played a part in creating a positive impact on the lives of these amazing families.

“I can’t thank my technician, Andrew Price, enough for the hard work he has put in over the time he was on site. The ‘Big Reveal’ was very emotional for everyone and it was great to meet the family who are now able to start rebuilding their lives thanks to the army of local tradespeople involved.

Related: Drain Doctor Franchise

“We look forward to partaking in more build projects in the future and hope to come to the aid of even more families in need of assistance.”

Drain Doctor currently operates from over 60 franchise locations across the UK offering plumbing services from drain clearance to 24-hour emergency plumbing.

Source: Franchise World