Dec 15th, 2010
Anglian Home Improvements came into being in 1966 as “Anglian Windows”. Norwich entrepreneur George Williams founded the company. Three years later he began attracting customers by launching a show room for his products- a relative novelty at the time. Anglian Windows would eventually go on to become one of the UK’s largest suppliers of double glazing and home improvements.It would employ over 5,000 staff, fit over 500,000 products every year and a build a name recognised throughout the industry.
The business was acquired by British Electric Traction in 1984 for the sum of £30 million. From here Anglian Windows became Anglian Home Improvements, branching out from windows to products such as conservatories, doors and roofing.
Despite the companies impressive growth it has hit problems from time to time. The recession at the end of the 80s hit them hard, eventually leading to the necessity for a management buyout in 1991. The step, though desperate, was effective, and the company returned to private hands in 2000 when it was bought out by investment group Alchemy Partners.
The company performed solidly for most of the 2000s, boasting strong profits and sales. It was around this time that Anglian Home Improvements became a founding member of FENSA a government, a self-regulatory body for the double-glazing industry.
However when the economic crash hit in 2007 Anglian was among the companies to be hit hard. As the construction industry stalled and consumer spending dropped off the firm was forced to close one of its manufacturing plants and two depots. In 2008 a consortium of banks took over the company after it ran into debt trouble.
After the banks took over the company underwent a £30 million cost cutting drive that involved a major restructuring and the loss of almost 1,000 jobs. In 2008/09 the company suffered a £7 million loss, even after cutting its work force to only 2,056 staff. The following year George Williams, still a well-known figure in the glazing industry, passed away.
By the end of 2010 things began to look up for Anglian Home Improvements. The company posted strong results for the first part of the year, seeing a rise of 70% in its net income even in the face of falling revenue.
From there pre-tax profits climbed to £11.3 million, an improvement on the £6.2 million it brought in the previous year. Current opinion is that Anglian has survived the worst of the recession and the company is expected to position itself well in the post-recession market.
Over the years Anglian Home Improvements has engaged in a number of activities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to both its home city of Norwich and further afield. The firm has made donations to groups including the East Anglian Air Ambulance, Comic Relief, the World Cancer Research Fund, Broadland High School and the Race for Life.
Today the company has a turnover of £225 million a year and employs in the region of 2,500 staff, approximately 1,000 of which are based at its Norwich head office and main factory. However there are sites across the company where Anglian Home Improvements bases its sales and installation staff. There are currently 200 Anglian showrooms, show sites and installation centres across the country. The company also makes a heavy use of staff on a self employed basis, such as foot canvassers, installers and sales reps.
The company now offers double-glazing, including the new heat-generating EcoGain windows, conservatories, patios, driveways, doors and rooftrim. Anglian Home Improvements continues to build on its position, aiming to dominate the glazing and home improvements sectors of the market.