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Leading NZ builder reports $102m turnover

Leading NZ builder reports $102m turnover

Leading NZ building manufacturer Versatile Buildings today reported a 12 monthly group retail turnover of $102 million.

This is an increase of 163 percent over the last four years.

New managing director of the Versatile Buildings group Bruce Matheson said Versatile was on track for further building growth in 2003-2004.

The significant growth over the last three years is a combination of the purchase of an Australian steel building business and the introduction and expansion of the Totalspan steel building franchise network in New Zealand.

Mr Matheson was recently appointed to the position of managing director although he has been an independent director of Versatile for eight years.

He was chief executive of Meadow Mushrooms for the last four years and has previously been general manager of the Lyttelton Port Company and chairman of the first privatised port company in Australia, Port of Portland.

``We make up half of the 7000 garages built in New Zealand each year, and excluding garden sheds, manufacture about 5000 buildings annually across the Versatile and Totalspan brands in New Zealand”.

Versatile’s New Zealand manufacturing & retail turnover has grown significantly in the last year. Their subsidiary, Totalspan, which specialises in steel portal framed buildings, has seen a 50 percent volume growth in the last 12 months.

Versatile’s total manufacturing and distribution operations in New Zealand employs 300 staff excluding sub trade contractors. There are 56 retail outlets nationwide; 33 Versatile and 23 Totalspan.

``Totalspan volume has trebled in size in the last two years and is forecast to double in the next 12 months.

``We are setting up a plant extension in Christchurch instead of importing from Australia just to keep up with Totalspan growth,’’ Mr Matheson said.

Versatile is arguably the largest manufacturer of low cost buildings in Australasia.

The company dates back to 1970 and is still privately owned with its head office in Christchurch.

It has manufacturing plants in Christchurch and Brisbane and its garden sheds are also manufactured under licence in Europe.

``Producing approximately 50,000 sheds per annum, Versatile is now the largest manufacturer of garden sheds in Australasia,’’ Mr Matheson said today.

Versatile’s timber-framed residential buildings are sold and constructed through a nationwide franchise network. The range includes garden sheds, carports, garages, sleepouts, cottages, homes and farm buildings.

Three years ago the company bought a steel building company in Australia and established the Totalspan brand which focuses on the rural and light industrial market.

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