“I think the markets are developing well, and there’s demand for the type of quality that Trimline produces,” Richards explained to SuperyachtNews.com exclusively. “I think getting the company from £20 million to £30 million in turnover in five years is a realistic aim. I’d like to think we could do more, but it’s early days and I’m not going to promise that!”
Richards comes from 20 years of driving sales and management in the marine industry, including companies that have sold safety equipment to the superyacht market. “I’m here to put the controls in to ensure the business functions effectively and has the right platform for growth,” he said. “We want to participate in more associations and develop relationships with our clients and markets that possibly we haven’t previously had the resources to do.”
Trimline is a successful British family business that is still co-owned by the brothers Gary and Mike Oliver. Headed into it’s 50th year in 2015, the firm, which now works across the defence, ferry, cruise, oil and gas and superyacht markets, continues to see opportunities for growth. In the last 15 years the company has grown its turnover from about £5 million to in excess of £20 million on refit work. The appointment of Richards demonstrates the company’s ambition to expand globally.
“I think as well as the ability to actually produce the bespoke interiors and the quality of finishes, we are also a project manager,” Richards said. “If we can put the resources into the project management side and upscale that, we’ve got the opportunity to take on more projects. Currently, our ability to take on work that we’re asked to do is limited by capacities. So it isn’t purely a case of going out and selling more. We have to put in place the rigorous structures to make sure we deliver the quality that’s expected; then we can take on more and bigger jobs.”
Trimline has diversified its offerings, and now supplies on-going maintenance and support to its customers. Richards says to grow the company, he will be working with the team to identify locations that coincide with that of their customers. Referring to superyachts, Richards mentions Palma, America and Australasia as areas of particular interest.
“We’re always going to be in the superyacht market,” Richards said. “But it will be balanced alongside our cruise and ferry work, which is more stable. We’re going to pick superyacht projects carefully rather than chase many of them. Each superyacht job demands a lot of attention and a lot of management to get it right otherwise it damages your reputation. So we’ve got to be confident with every project that we take on that we can actually deliver it effectively.”
In the last year, Trimline has expanded its interior outfitting services to include electrics and catering services. “It’s been a very successful move for us,” Richards said. “It responds to what our customers want. It also further underlines that Trimline is a turnkey interior operation that spans soft furnishings to installing entirely new decks. It’s a big skillset.”
Richards will report to Gary Oliver on a daily basis, while Oliver takes on a more ambassadorial role, overseeing the structure of the company as it grows. “Gary will be guiding me and is still heavily involved in certain projects, as well as in our work celebrating fifty years in business,” Richards said.
Image of MY Shemara by Jake Sudgen