May 1, 2019
Now in its 30th year, full-service agency JMF Group, based in Swalwell, has delivered in-house solutions, including design, print, digital and signage services, to some of the biggest names on the high street. The company’s turnover was up by 24 per cent in 2017/18 and is forecasted to rise a further 68 per cent this financial year due to an increase in its signage division.
Last month, the company also welcomed its 29th and 30th employees and is set to increase this figure to 45 by the end of the year, with roles specifically earmarked in sales, digital and signage.
The business has experienced significant growth since it was founded in 1989 by its now chairman, Michael Foggin. Michael established the business from his garage in Chapel House where he would go out and sell 9am-5pm and then work 6pm-2am to print the jobs.
After a few years, he moved into his first 600 sq ft factory on Swalwell Bank, printing stationery such as leaflets, posters, flyers and business cards.
He bought a single-colour press, which was his first step into the world of colour printing. His first large client was NCJ Media, where he printed single-colour format A2 posters, bulletins and the Jobs supplement for the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun.
Today, the company operates across four factories on the Sands Industrial Estate in Swalwell and although Michael is still involved in the business, he has taken more of a back seat after handing the reigns over to his son, Jack, and director of sales, Anthony Cole.
For a number of years, the business operated using one, two and full-colour Heidelberg presses serving more than 700 clients nationwide but made a strategic decision in 2010, which catapulted the business.
Michael explains: “We decided to purchase state-of-the-art high-tech digital presses. We started offering clients a full-service with in-house manufacturing and launched new services, such as design, animation and signage.”
Last year, the business invested a further £1 million in new technology and equipment and staff training. Its signage division has seen rapid expansion, now working with clients who have in excess of £450 million turnover.
The company’s client book includes high street names such as Poundstretcher, Poundland and Admiral, and they also won a competitive pitch to rebrand Kenny Atkinson’s House of Tides on the Quayside, the One Star Michelin and Four AA Rosette awarded restaurant in Tyneside.
Jack Foggin, managing director, adds: “This is a landmark year for JMF Group. We’ve got a great team in place who have the strategic vision to drive the business forward and these are really exciting times.
“It’s fitting we have just appointed our 30th employee in our 30th year and we’re looking forward to bringing in a further 15 staff this year to support our plans.
“Who knows what the next 30 years has in store – maybe international expansion? We’ve been invited to pitch and price up jobs for companies in France, Dubai and Las Vegas, so you never know.”