From humble beginnings selling sheds and poultry houses, the Wernick family business has grown to be the largest independent manufacturer and hirer of modular buildings in Britain.
Founded in 1934 by Samuel Wernick, the Wernick Group has survived recessions and a World War, but is not showing any signs of wear from the last eight decades. Through a combination of natural growth and acquisitions it continues to thrive.
Today the Wernick Group is made up of five main trading companies employing over 550 people. It operates from 36 sites around the UK, has revenues in excess of £85 million and profits in excess of £10 million.
While most family businesses do not survive beyond two generations, the Wernick Group has employed four generations of the family, with the latest addition being Jonathan Wernick who is the great grandson of the founder. Jonathan is currently General Manager of the Group’s seating division, EventLink. Current Chairman David Wernick, Jonathan’s father, believes that being privately owned has given the business advantages not shared by its larger corporate competitors. He said: “If we want to take a specific course of action, we can just get on and do it, rather than feel we have to worry about what our investors might think.”
This has been invaluable in enabling the Group to grow through acquisition. Since 2000 the Wernick Group has continued to spend and invest, acquiring in total 22 modular building hire businesses. In 2005 two new companies, PK Accommodation (now Wernick Refurbished Buildings) and Wernick Event Hire, were able to emerge from the Group’s steady programme of investment. During this period the Group has invested in excess of £140 million in acquisitions, new fleet and freehold sites for depots.
Plans for the future include relocating both the Group’s manufacturing and refurbishing arms to larger sites, with manufacturing expecting to improve output by 50%. This will be supported by an expansion by Wernick Buildings into Scotland, working with the existing Wernick Hire presence there. David commented “I believe that the Group can continue on its current path of growth in the future through both acquisition and its commitment to quality products and focus on customer satisfaction.”
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