By Daniel Hunter

Hopkins Catering Equipment, a manufacturing firm based in Pudsey, has invested in its vehicle fleet while looking to increase its exporting capability.

The company manufactures and supplies catering equipment, including fish and chip fryer cooking ranges and refrigerators. The firm, founded in 1957, also sells its products abroad with clients in Europe and the USA and recently, it has seen increased demand for its products in Australia.

In the next 12-18 months, the company is looking to focus on exporting more of its products, particularly to Australia, while researching and developing new ones, including frying ranges that can reduce gas consumption by over 60 per cent for its customers.

To reduce its own overheads, the firm has recently replaced two ageing vans in its 20-strong fleet with environmentally-friendly models, and is already seeing the cost benefits of reduced fuel and maintenance at the Yorkshire site.

The third generation family business approached Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance for the debtor finance it needed to purchase the vans without impacting its cashflow. The firm also uses a factoring facility to allow it to benefit from the value of its invoices as soon as they are raised and has also benefitted from banking facilities from Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking for the past two and a half years.

Director of Hopkins Catering Equipment, Victoria Hopkins, said: “We are experiencing a high demand for our products overseas and while we will always be a UK manufacturer, we are thrilled at the chance to expand and bring Hopkins Catering Equipment to wider international markets. Having the support of Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance and Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking has been instrumental in our growth.

“The bank really understands the strain on cashflow that quiet trading periods can have and this is where the factoring facility helps. With this support we plan to not only expand our export numbers but also our products by making them economically friendly, decreasing overheads for clients and helping the environment.”

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