The official voice of  The Cleaning Show

Abby Group plans major expansion through acquisition programme

Published 14th August, 2023 by Neil Nixon

Abby Group's founder and group operations director, Robert May.
Abby Group's founder and group operations director, Robert May.

A Scottish cleaning company has embarked on an ambitious acquisition plan with a target of more than doubling turnover within two years. St Andrews-based Abby Group has already launched its development programme by acquiring two firms based in Glasgow and Aberdeen.

The company now has its sights set on further expansion as it seeks rapid growth over the next 24 months, backed through a funding package drawn up by external investors.

Abby was established by husband and wife team, Robert and Julie May, in 2008 after the couple sold their licensed trade interests. They have grown the company from scratch, starting out in domestic cleaning contracts and branching into office cleaning. They now offer a huge variety of services across a broad spectrum and have become expert specialists in cleaning work for the country’s biggest housebuilders as they prepare new-build properties for handover to their new owners following the completion of construction work.

At present, Abby carries out around 300 such new-build cleans every week for firms including Cala, Barratt and Persimmon which requires three staff alone to look after the nationwide booking and scheduling of work carried out by 14 teams comprising 70 full-time staff.

Abby Group's founder and group operations director, Robert May, said: “We’re probably the biggest provider of cleaning services in this sector in Scotland at present. A lot of work is involved and there are three thorough and separate cleaning stages involved before each house is ready for its new owner. There’s an initial clean after the build is completed, a second clean after snagging and a final clean the day of or the day before the owner moves in.”

The company has made steady growth since it was launched by the May family just months after the birth of their daughter Abigail - after whom the name Abby was chosen. Within the last year it has acquired two leading family-owned concerns - Glasgow-based Coronet Services, which carries out work for - among others - property management firm Ross + Liddell, and Aberdeen-based First Class Cleaning, whose clients include DHL.

Robert explained that these are the first building blocks in the planned expansion project which will involve further acquisitions which will help scheduled turnover increase by 150% from £6 million to £15 million in two years. Further acquisitions are an intrinsic component of the growth strategy and Abby are currently seeking out new targets which will help account for around 60% of future projected turnover.

Sign up to our newsletter

The weekly news e-cast – its unrivalled content places it way ahead of any other publication in the field.