Campervan company pitches up its best year yet

Simon Poole and his team
Simon Poole and his team

A campervan company has reported its most successful year on record – coinciding with the first anniversary of its move to become employee owned

Jerba Campervans, which specialises in luxury conversions of the Volkswagen T6 model, has seen its turnover rise from £2.2m in 2017 to £2.7m in 2018, making it the most successful year since the company’s humble beginnings in 2005. 

After becoming 100% employee owned in January 2018, Jerba has also seen a positive knock-on effect on its productivity, which has increased by 12%.

The North Berwick-based firm, which has a 15-strong team, has completed a record total of 55 bespoke vehicles in 2018, up from 48 in 2017. 

Simon Poole, founder and director at Jerba said: “Naturally, we’re thrilled to be looking at these results from the past year. 

“We’ve been growing steadily since we first started, but to me it’s clear that the introduction of the employee-owned model last year has given the team and the business a huge boost.

“But beyond stats and numbers, it’s satisfying to know that with every van that leaves the workshop, we’re providing our customers a wonderful lifestyle and experience.

“At the end of the day when I’m locking up, I think about how we’re helping local people to pay their mortgages and enjoy life thanks to the business – and that’s even more satisfying.”

Simon and his wife Cath founded Jerba in 2005 after a decade of owning and hiring campervans all over the world, before deciding they could improve the design and overall user experience themselves.

The firm is now recognised by Volkswagen as a registered vehicle body builder. The German manufacturer supplies Jerba with the skeletons of the vans, which it transforms into stylish homes on wheels, made individually to the customer’s specification. 

Last year, the husband and wife team transferred all shares into the Jerba Campervans trust. The Trust Board, which is comprised of one employee appointed by them, one elected employee and one independent individual to the business, ensures that the company is being run for the benefit of the employees. 

Simon added: “We’re always looking for ways to improve what we do, to be innovative in every aspect and to stay ahead of the game. 

“Becoming employee-owned has truly energised the place and as a result, we’ve benefitted from a loyal team of people who have been instrumental in building the business.

“Hopefully with this mindset and drive, we’ll be able to report even greater success this time next year.”

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