A Decade of Growth

A decade of growth for recycling business

Kirton Recycling Limited, a company set up by long standing scrap metal and waste recycling business SWM & Waste Recycling (SWM) has acquired two second hand car parts businesses in Crediton & Launceston to further expand the family run operation.

The acquisition completes a remarkable decade of growth for the Barnstaple based business which now offers a one-stop shop for the commercial, industrial and construction industries.

The original family business South Molton Metals was established in 1959 trading specifically in metal recycling SWM was formed in March 2002 to provide an efficient and comprehensive waste management service to its customers and suppliers. Today SWM is considered to be one of the leading waste management companies in the south west.

With metal recycling still at the core of the business, a major investment programme in new plant and equipment has enabled the business to grow and to offer the full range of recycling services including cardboard, plastics and wet waste such as oils and chemicals, baler and compactor hire and skip hire.  The business is also licensed as an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) for End of Life Vehicles.

Shawn Akers, the Group’s managing director said: “We had just one site in 2001 and two in 2002 employing eight or nine people.  Today we have eight sites, around 70 employees and we turn over more than £20 million.  In 2011, we invested some £1.6 million in new specialist machinery to ensure we continue to develop and grow the business in this competitive market.

“It has been a story of rapid growth but it hasn’t all been easy and we had to scale our operations back in 2008 when commodity markets fell. 

“At that stage we were helped by the Corporate Finance Team at Francis Clark headed by Mark Greaves and Gavin Davey who assisted us with cash flow projections, funding negotiations and structural changes which made a positive difference to us. 

“Since then we have transferred all our accountancy requirements to Francis Clark.  Sharon Austen and her team provide audit and tax planning services and really good ongoing advice.”

Francis Clark partner Sharon Austen added: “The SWM Group operates in a very competitive market place.  Its edge comes with in-house capability.  Investing in new plant, machinery and vehicles means it offers a comprehensive range of waste management options without any subcontracting. 

“This gives customers confidence in the knowledge that their waste requirements are taken care off efficiently, cost effectively and in compliance with all rules and regulations.

”2011 has been a tough trading year for most businesses including SWM, but in general the Group has weathered the recession and post recession austerity quite well.  It’s great to see the team invest in the new Kirton Recycling business in addition to the capital invested in the existing core service.

“Shawn and his fellow directors are very aware that re-use and recycling is no longer an option but a social necessity, so as long as they provide the right services and maintain efficiency through capital investment, they will remain a major player in the waste management market with further potential to grow.”