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Ale's well in the pub trade for suppliers.

Byline: COREENA FORD Business writer coreena.ford@reachplc.com @Scoopford

NORTH East pub trade supplier The Rudd Group says the industry is taking a positive turn, after reporting on a year of solid growth.

The company was founded in Newcastle by Bob Rudd in 1989, with a focus on supplying gaming and amusement machines to pubs, but over the years it has had to diversify.

Wanting to reach into new markets, the firm branched out with its InnStay division, launched in 2012, which offers EPoS (electronic point of sale) systems, music systems and security.

Meanwhile, Clear Cool, its glass washer, ice maker and catering equipment division, was launched in 2016 to cater for areas of the sector that weren't geared towards gaming equipment, such as cocktail and wine bars, and it has also helped the firm enter new markets outside of the licensed trade.

The Rudd Group has its head office at Brunswick Industrial Estate in Newcastle and has five further depots across the country in Leeds, Keswick, Wigan, Nottingham and Birmingham.

Earlier this year, the Birmingham base moved to a larger premises to accommodate increased demand within the region, resulting in four new hires.

The group's managing director, Bob Rudd's son Nick, said it is diversification, coupled with positivity within the leisure industry, that is leading to growth in the business.

He said: "We're really happy with the direction the company is moving in at the moment.

"Although the licensed trade has been a tough market to work in over the last few years due to high numbers of pub closures, we believe the industry is taking a positive turn."

His comments come as the firm, awarded the Supplier Ei Beacon Division Hero award recently for its customer service, has boosted its turnover by more than PS600,000 this year.

Accounts for the year ended May 31, 2019, are being finalised and show an increase in income from PS7.4m in 2018 to PS8m.

Mr Rudd said: "Our newer brands have further embedded the company as a key national player within the industry.

"We now supply a wide range of products to bars, pubs and social clubs across the country, from large national companies to small independent sites.

"We are constantly looking at ways to deliver products and services that can help our customers, and I believe our personal approach to customer service and our roots as a family-run business, have been important factors in our continued success.

"As well as the new divisions we have continued to invest in our core product portfolio of low-stakes gaming and amusement equipment, which drives footfall and income into our customers' venues.

"We appreciate that running a pub or bar can be extremely difficult, every product that we offer is either geared towards making the licensee's life easier or increasing their profits.

"We pride ourselves on customer service and it is great to see that this has been recognised by the largest pub company in the UK."

Although the licensed trade has been a tough market to work in over the last few years due to high numbers of pub closures, we believe the industry is taking a positive turn. Nick Rudd

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Nick Rudd of the Rudd Group

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 8, 2019
Words:538
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