Edward Naylor is a Cambridge Modern Languages graduate and double-prize winning Chartered Accountant.
He spent the first eight years of his career in the City with accountants Deloitte, acquiring corporate finance experience and spending time on secondment in Germany. On the death of his father Allan in 1993, he took over as CEO of Barnsley based Naylor Industries plc, which at the time was a loss-making £12m manufacturer of clay pipes.
A programme of modernisation and diversification followed. The company launched a new plastic pipe business which now accounts for more than half of group sales and developed its exporting activities. The Naylor group today is a broad based and profitable business with five sites and a turnover of £50 million including exports to 65 countries.
Its businesses are engaged in the manufacture of clay, plastic and concrete products and whilst it primarily supplies the construction industry, its Yorkshire Flowerpots division is now the UK’s largest manufacturer of terracotta gardenware.
Presentation: How to take a UK company from SME to a “mid-sized champion”
Naylor is a Yorkshire-based fourth generation family business founded in 1890.
The company’s early years focused on clay pipe manufacture but Edward Naylor has overseen diversification to a more broad based business, which manufactures clay and plastic pipes for sewerage, cable ducting and surface water drainage as well as precast concrete and terracotta pots.
Recent years have seen Naylor become more international in its outlook. Export growth has followed development of high-performance ceramic pipes for specialist applications such as trenchless installation and chemically aggressive environments; the company’s exports now exceed £5m pa and include markets in SE Asia, the Middle East and Australasia.
The company has grown considerably, with 2014/15 turnover projected at £50m; there are 350 employees. Naylor has an apprentice programme and invests heavily in training and developing its people.
In its long-term focus, private ownership and emphasis on training and employee development, Naylor shares many of the characteristics of the German “Mittelstand”.