Yorkshire towns have their fair share of action and excitement any day of the week. But even the most diehard fans would not normally associate Leeds, Halifax and Huddersfield with high-end Hollywood glamour.
Recently, however, the streets of these places have thronged with top American stars, including Samuel L Jackson, the highest-grossing actor of all time.
Marvel Studios are filming their superhero mini-series Secret Invasion in and around Yorkshire, with Jackson in the leading role.
Movie marvel: Facilities by ADF supplies trailers to film sets featuring stars including Samuel L Jackson, above
The choice of location highlights a growing recognition among media moguls that the UK is one of the best places in the world to make good entertainment.
Last year, the film and TV industry contributed almost £12.5billion to the economy – an increase of 24 per cent in five years.
Around 80 productions are under way right now, with more than 200 in development. Looking ahead, further growth is expected. Studios are being built across the country as top producers look to the UK for skilled workers on and off screen.
Facilities by ADF both contributes to the UK’s growing reputation and benefits from it.
The company supplies state-of-the-art trucks and trailers used by actors, make-up artists, costume designers and technicians. ADF floated on the junior AIM market at the beginning of this month. The shares are 63p and should increase materially in value over the next five years and beyond.
Founded 30 years ago in Bridgend, Wales, ADF has become one of the top operators in its field, with a 500- strong fleet expected to grow to 700 vehicles over the next two years.
The company works on 15 to 18 productions at any one time, from Peaky Blinders, Bridgerton and The Crown to Happy Valley and Secret Invasion. Customers include Amazon Prime, Disney, Warner Brothers and Netflix, as well as the BBC and Sky. As all these media giants strive to attract subscribers and viewers, they are investing a growing amount of time and money into their own content.
The trend is great news for channel surfers but also for ADF. The group’s fleet is already more than 90 per cent booked for this year, with orders stacking up for 2023 and even the year after.
Led by chief executive Marsden Proctor, ADF prides itself on having the newest and most upmarket trucks in the country. These include luxury Winnebagos for top actors, replete with bedrooms, dining rooms and meeting areas. There are fully kitted out make-up and costume vehicles, as well as trailers for stuntmen, voice coaches, technicians and all the other staff associated with the film and TV trade.
Proctor, 51, has worked in the facilities business for 26 years, starting out as a driver, joining ADF as general manager in 2014 and taking on the top job two years later. Immersed in the industry and with an extensive network of contacts, he has fast-tracked growth at ADF, understanding what producers want and ensuring their demands are met.
ADF ensures, for instance, that staff are on hand night and day so if schedules are changed or technical help is needed, the group can respond swiftly and efficiently.
Entertainers are increasingly environmentally conscious too and ADF has been recognised by the industry sustainability body Albert for its green credentials.
Chairman John Richards, 65, also chairs brick group Brickability, whose stock price has risen more than 40 per cent to 93p since floating in September 2019. Richards is hoping to generate similar – if not better – returns at ADF.
The company is set to provide a trading update for 2021 early next month, and followers expect full year sales approaching £30million, almost double the level they were before the pandemic. Dividends are on the cards too, as the company throws off plenty of cash and is keen to reward shareholders.
Richards and Proctor are highly ambitious, intending to increase turnover to £100million within the next five years through a combination of organic growth and selective acquisitions.
The duo will move carefully, however, not least because both men are shareholders, with around 5 per cent of the stock between them.
Midas verdict: Facilities by ADF may have an unusual name, but there is nothing strange about the business itself. A well-regarded operator in a fast-growing industry, the company is ideally placed to benefit as the UK cements its position in the entertainment industry. As the business expands, the shares should follow suit. At 63p, the stock is a buy.
Traded on: AIM Ticker: ADF Contact: facilitiesbyadf.com or 01656 725560
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