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Folkes announces four Board appointments

David Wooldridge

Folkes Holdings Ltd (Folkes), one of the oldest family businesses in the UK, announces board appointments with immediate effect.

The Folkes family business which was established in 1697 as a blacksmiths forge and still retains offices in Lye, the Black Country, West Midlands, now has diverse interests in three jurisdictions; the UK, Republic of South Africa and the Channel Islands.  To ensure a strong board as assets continue to expand and to facilitate smooth generational succession and transfer of duties, Folkes have made four board appointments; three in the UK and one in South Africa.

David Wooldridge FCCA, 47, has joined the board as Chief Financial Officer. David formerly worked as the Finance Director and Company Secretary of A&J Mucklow Group PLC before its takeover by London Metric PLC earlier this year for £415 million. David worked closely with the Chairman, Rupert Mucklow, and was instrumental with Mr Mucklow in the asset build and high-income distribution over the years. David worked at Mucklow for 23 years taking up the role of FD in 2007. He brings to Folkes a high degree of specialist skills in the key areas which Folkes operates in along with his experience on mergers and acquisitions acquired during his tenure with Mucklow.

Paul Tomlinson FCCA, 43, has been appointed Finance Director designate. Paul has worked in finance and company secretary roles at Folkes for 12 years and has a wealth of knowledge and experience of the Folkes businesses. He was formerly in practice with BDO.

Tammy Inglis ACMA, 45, has been appointed Commercial Director designate. Tammy has worked for Folkes for 18 years in finance and management roles at Somers Forge, a Folkes owned specialist engineering and project management company, where she has gained valuable experience in dealing with the manufacture and sale of sophisticated large scale high integrity forgings for the Royal Navy, nuclear, aerospace, power generation, exploration and heavy industries worldwide. She will continue to spend time at Somers whilst also on commercial activities of the Folkes group.

The enhanced board will consist of the above appointees together with the current five members of the Folkes family who undertake varying board duties and Paul Turner, 59, continuing as the Managing Director. Paul has worked for Folkes for 28 years.

In South Africa, where Folkes has a property portfolio nearing R2.0 bln (£110 mln) and a pipeline of developments comprising apartment block builds, business parks and retail developments, Alan Menigo CA (SA), 38, has been appointed a director of Folkes’ SA holding company. Alan has worked for Folkes at its R1.35 billion (£75 mln) twelve site retail park portfolio, RAP Fund for 6 years as the Chief Operating Officer. He will continue his role at RAP Fund as well as now having an overseeing role on the other South African activities which includes an industrial and office portfolio and the 10,000 Ha (25,000-acre) Glen Harry Game Reserve.

Recent times have seen a strong performance in all sectors of the group. The UK engineering division, run by Samson Folkes, 27, as MD, has a healthy order load and outlook assisted by a more competitive sterling exchange rate. The UK property holdings consisting of midlands-based industrial and logistics units is running a 0% vacancy rate having seen strong lettings in the £100 mln (1.25 mln sq ft) portfolio. Values have risen considerably in the last two years with yields strengthening as demand for secure income stream has increased.

Folkes’ portfolio has been ideally placed to take advantage of this value shift coupled with strong rental growth. In South Africa Folkes property business has been active with excellent results and values increasing. Bank appetite is strong in supporting Folkes growth in the region albeit the political and economic situation dictates a cautionary approach until the situation becomes more business friendly, credible and certain.

In the last five years, in conjunction with Constantine and Angela Folkes’ move to reside in the Channel Islands and develop interests there, Folkes have invested in a number of activities in the Channel Islands including property, financial services, retail and automotive dealerships. There has been a strong return on the £20.0 mln invested to date.

Year end consolidated results before tax and distributions for the combined Folkes family businesses for 2018, including property revaluations, were some £16.0 mln (R300 mln). Results for 2019 are running in line with expectations at a forecast £11.30 mln (R200 mln) by year end.

For further information please contact Dr Cleo Folkes, BVSc, MRCVS, 37, Deputy Chairperson, on 0044 7771 954716 or c.l.folkes@folkesholdings.com.