2018: No.16 - £455m
2017: No.16 - £440m
Pre-tax profits have tripled at Thomas Mackie and family's City Electrical Factors Holdings Ltd electrical products wholesaler.
Established in 1951 with one outlet, CEF Holdings now has customers around the world. The company’s attention to customer service has kept the Kenilworth company consistently profitable. Pre-tax profits in 2016 reached almost £85 million from £28 million the previous year. Turnover was £511 million compared to 2015's £504 million.
Thomas Mackie, an ex-GEC employee and former Royal Air Force radio operator, founded City Electrical Factors with just one outlet in Coventry. He began by selling electric cables and light fittings to local contractors. He died in January 2012, aged 89 and the company is now run by his grandson, Thomas, aged 30.
City Electrical Factors employs around 8000 people worldwide with more than 3,000 of those in the UK. It has nearly 400 UK branches and the same number of overseas outlets including 360 in the United States and outlets in Spain and Australia.
In the 1960s CEF moved into Kenilworth to set up a head office on the site of a former cinema. In the early 1970s, the company began exporting. From there the empire was cultivated and grown by Thomas Mackie and his son Gerald and family to the size it is today – the UK’s leading electrical wholesale network with nearly twice as many outlets as its nearest competitor.
CEF has divisions in Telford, Redditch, Doncaster and Wrexham and overseas manufacturing facilities in France, Turkey, Tunisia and the USA producing a wide range of in-house electrical products. The group has more warehousing space than 30 football stadiums and around 5000 delivery vehicles.
In the summer the company hosted CEF LIVE at the NEC where more than 45 electrical brands came together to showcase their products and share industry information. In 2016 CEF opened its first training academy in Redditch.
The company is represented in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Holland and Spain.
The Mackie family now lives in Switzerland and the US.