Flooring Brands in major expansion

By Hamish Fletcher

Chief executive Rodney Martin. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Chief executive Rodney Martin. Photo / Paul Estcourt

A New Zealand firm has become Australasia's largest commercial flooring company after making two acquisitions across the Ditch.

Flooring Brands announced yesterday it had bought New South Wales' JBR Flooring and Fitout, and Canberra-based Q Commercial during the past month.

The move builds on its purchase of Queensland's Master Kelwin group in 2010, a company that has fitted-out the state government, major hotels and private hospitals with flooring.

Flooring Brands' two new companies will be rebranded as Master Kelwin and form a group that will be a transtasman, multi-state commercial flooring business in Australia and New Zealand.

Flooring Brands' founder, chief executive and chairman, Rodney Martin, said the acquisitions make Master Kelwin three times larger than its nearest competitor in Australia.

The group is well-positioned to take on projects from retail giants such as Woolworths, Coles Myer and Westfield, he said. "Until now there has been no single business in the flooring industry that can service these big retailers across Australia and New Zealand," Martin said.

Although Master Kelwin has become "dominant" in the Australian commercial-flooring market, Martin is eyeing more acquisitions over the next year.

"My plan is to grow it [the business] at least 50 per cent bigger than it is now," he said.

"We are hiring people all the time ... we've become quite an attractive proposition because we're one of the few businesses that are growing."

While Master Kelwin is strong in the Australian commercial market, retail space makes up only 10 per cent of its business.

In New Zealand, Flooring Brands is the largest retail player in the country, owning Carpet Court and the Floor Store.

Flooring Brands' sales across both sides of the Tasman will now exceed $260 million a year, the company said.

- NZ Herald

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