TopHat, Modular Housing Specialist, Plans Second Factory to Quadruple Production Capacity

Posted on 12 August 2021

TopHat, a specialist in modular housing, is making significant strides in expanding its operations. Despite reporting notable losses, the company is actively preparing to open a second factory, which will have an impressive annual production capacity of 3,000 homes. This expansion is particularly noteworthy considering that their current Derby factory can only manufacture 1,000 homes, meaning the new facility will quadruple their potential output. The company's intentions to expand were revealed in their recent annual report filed at Companies House, which disclosed a loss of £21.3m on a turnover of £6.3m for the twelve-month period ending on October 31, 2020. The operating loss for the firm amounted to £17.4m.

In the same filing, Jordan Rosenhaus, the founder and CEO of TopHat, expressed the company's strategic approach, stating, "During its growth phase, the company continues to invest ahead of revenue, both in growing its capacity and developing its product offering." Despite the challenging financial figures, TopHat enjoys the support of its majority owner, US investment bank Goldman Sachs, which invested a substantial £75m into the company in April 2019. TopHat operates under the umbrella of TopHat Enterprises, based in Jersey, with its main UK trading entity, TopHat Industries, located in Derby. As of the end of the financial year, TopHat Industries employed 159 individuals.

TopHat's modular factory

TopHat's overall financial performance showed losses, and the company's various divisions exhibited differing results. TopHat Technologies, TopHat Corporate, TopHat Labs, and TopHat Communities reported operating losses of £170,000, £277,000, £2.3m, and £3.9m respectively for the year ending October 2020. However, subsequent to the reporting period, the parent company based in Jersey infused £65m of the share capital into TopHat Industries, resulting in a positive balance sheet of £16.2m.

Rosenhaus highlighted in his directors' statement that TopHat has made substantial investments in the development of both modular houses and apartment blocks. The company's endeavours in the latter category are expected to materialize this summer in the Kitchener Barracks project located in Chatham. Furthermore, TopHat has conducted extensive research and development in modular materials, components, and prototypes, including the creation of a brick-style cladding system. Rosenhaus further explained that significant investments have been made in the company's software platform, which seamlessly integrates design, supply chain management, manufacturing, and deployment. This advanced platform serves as the foundation for TopHat's ability to rapidly and reliably scale up production.

The additional factory capacity that TopHat is acquiring through the establishment of its second factory will be instrumental in supporting the company's expansion plans. Recently, TopHat was selected, alongside Ilke Homes and Impact Modular, to be part of a prestigious £600m framework initiated by the National Housing Federation. Within this framework, TopHat will play a key role in providing low and medium-rise housing. In May, TopHat secured a significant contract with Skanska-Ikea modular housing venture BokLok to deliver their initial modular housing projects in the UK. This noteworthy achievement followed a separate delivery agreement forged between TopHat and developer Urban & Civic in January, further solidifying TopHat's position in the industry.

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