Ryko Solutions Inc., North America’s largest manufacturer of car wash equipment and a major provider of national technical services, cleaning products, and marketing programs, achieved one of its best annual performances in 40 years of business in 2012, with total corporate revenue approaching $90 million, a 22% year-over-year (YOY) increase.
The end-of-year results, which also included a 38% increase in equipment sales and an impressive EBITDA increase of 53%, were based on widespread market acceptance of the company’s bundled service and CleanTouch cleaning products. Ryko experienced double-digit growth in all three segments of its business; maintenance services, car wash equipment, as well as cleaning solutions.
According to Ryko’s CEO, Steve L’Heureux, the company tripled the size of its engineering team over the past two years and reinvigorated its R&D department with new leadership in 2012. These two developments were instrumental in the introduction of two exciting touch-free products, driving a surge in sales of nearly 50%.
The company broke new ground with the introduction of the Pulse, a trailblazing touch- free machine, which underscores Ryko’s efforts to dramatically reduce the entry-level price point for new start-up or low volume operators interested in automatic car wash systems. The company also made substantial improvements to the Radius, an advanced touch-free vehicle wash system. With a defined focus on improving wash count capacity, Ryko released the Radius HT (High Throughput). This next generation product now has four ultrasonic vehicle positioners, as well as a new variable frequency drive (VFD) on the machine’s arm, making it among the fastest car wash machines on the market today.
Ryko also showed significant growth in the tunnel segment and export business. The company’s doubling of conveyor car wash sales were fueled by customers choosing to increase their investment and footprint in the industry. The company’s export business also experienced tremendous gains from the expanded R&D team’s attention to global solutions such as the introduction of an export version of Ryko’s flagship SoftGloss Maxx. Sales of the SoftGloss Maxx were up 27%, in 2012, as the leading five-brush solution continues to set the industry standard in car wash performance and product reliability.
The company was further able to realize its double-digit growth in revenue and leap in profitability as the result of a series of strategic investments of more than $1 million in its 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility that resulted in significant production cost savings.
Looking ahead to 2013, Ryko has budgeted over $4 million in investments for the factory to increase manufacturing capacity to meet growing demand for equipment and to continue to drive cost-efficiencies.
To further strengthen its 300-plus member national service support network, Ryko hired an additional 70 field technicians and invested over $1 million in technical training in 2012 — a figure Ryko will match again in 2013 as it renews its commitment to deliver the industry’s best customer support experience.
“Clearly, we’ve enjoyed tremendous success in 2012, and expect 2013 to be even better as we continue to devote our resources to progressive R&D and remain steadfast in our commitment to revolutionize and revitalize the car wash industry, especially through value-added technical and marketing services,” said L’Heureux. “As the industry’s only single- source provider of world-class equipment, cleaning solutions and maintenance services for customers, we are leading the drive to demonstrate to operators how to make car washes more affordable, efficient and subsequently more profitable.”