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The UK’s fastest growing private companies: Hot 100 2015 – (99) H Docherty

Founded in 1960 by current chairman Barry Moorcroft, Docherty Group is the largest independent manufacturer and distributor of flue and chimney products and renewable fuel appliances in the UK.
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Name: H Docherty
Industry/Sector: Manufacturing and engineering
Date founded: 1960
The boss: Allister Moorcroft
Location: South East
Latest turnover: £19.1m
Three-year compound growth rate (%): 30.05
Latest EBITDA: £1.6m

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Having estahlished a network of its own branches and accredited dealers, H Docherty has built up consistent quality, reliable supply, and high customer care.

Canny acquisitions such as MMF Group – another specialist flue and chimney distributor – have allowed for geographical expansion and product line extension. This was supported by a £3.5m boost from NatWest, as well as working capital. Managing director Allister Moorcroft intended to expand the company’s regional presence and the management team at MMF were looking towards retirement, so the move worked well for all involved.

This enabled H Docherty to improve its ability to supply products and provide customer support across the UK. It has also acquired Sure Fire Training Services in Ripley, a training provider for those wishing to get into the industry and in 2010 bought Independent Components, a Devon-based distributor of flues and chimneys – the combination of which has established the Docherty Group, with nine branches around the country.

Moorcroft said these acquisitions moved the company “another step closer” to achieving its goal of becoming the UK’s preferred supplier of chimney and related products. Rising distribution costs had meant customers increasingly required the company to provide a wide range of products available locally and at short notice, which these acquisitions have helped it to do.

Its head office is in Berkshire, but the Docherty Group also spans Leeds, Nottingham, Warrington, Gateshead and Bristol among others.

Self-manufactured products include flexible flue liner for gas, oil and solid fuel, vitreous enamel and stainless steel connecting flues, as well as terminals, adaptors and other accessories.

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