EXCLUSIVE: Former JPD boss takes over at Imperial

British bathroom manufacturer Imperial Bathrooms has appointed Graham Bucktrout (pictured) as its new managing director.

Bucktrout’s appointment is part of a company restructure and ambitious growth plan set in motion by new owner Lousada Plc.

As part of its commitment to investing and advancing the brand’s British manufacturing facilities, Bucktrout’s appointment also set in motion a merger between Imperial Bathrooms and White Ville Ceramics – an Italian-designed brand of contemporary sanitaryware, manufactured in Egypt.

Speaking about his appointment and the launch of the White Ville brand in the UK, Bucktrout said: “I’ve been developing a range of sanitaryware with White Ville – the largest manufacturer of sanitaryware in Egypt – for the last two years. I’d been looking for a home for those products and one of my ongoing discussions was with Imperial Bathrooms as it was looking to strengthen its structure and move the business forward.

“It’s a great marriage of two fantastic opportunities – for me to return as managing director to focus the business and lead it into the next chapter but also to bring the White Ville range of sanitaryware to the UK market. White Ville product – which will sit just below the likes of Roca, Duravit, Rak and Vitra is innovative, it is high quality and it brings something new to the UK market. Bringing the White Ville brand on board enables Imperial bathrooms to appeal to a much wider market both in terms of style and price point.”

According to Bucktrout, his plan is to treble the size of the business over the next three-five years through continued investment in the Imperial Bathrooms manufacturing side but also by creating new opportunities and new channels to the business.

“The business currently turns over just shy of £6million per year and the plan is to grow it to an £18m/£20m business in the next three-five years,” he said.

In August, Lousada Plc revealed it had taken a major stake in the business and announced the appointment of James Stevenson, son of founder Geoffrey Stevenson – who sadly passed away on 1st October after a long battle with cancer – and former export director, and John Kitchener, as interim joint managing directors. With Bucktrout at the helm, Stevenson will revert back to his historical role of creative and export director and Kitchener exits the business at the end of November.

Speaking about his return to the business and the company restructure Bucktrout said: “My appointment will allow James the opportunity to focus on what he does really well and that’s the creative and product development with imperial and also export relations.

“John Kitchener joined Imperial Bathrooms as part of the Lousada takeover, to support James and to help look at the restructure that the group really felt the business needed to move forward. He exits the business at the end of November – which was always the plan.”

Bucktrout is no stranger to the Imperial Bathrooms business. He held the role of sales and marketing director for two years but left the business in 2010 to become the managing director of Lecico Bathrooms. Most recently, he held the role of managing director at West-Yorkshire based JP Distribution until it went out of business in July this year.

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