FireWorks Pre-Seen Analysis

3rd Nov 2022

FireWorks Pre-Seen Analysis

The November CIMA Operational Case Study Exam pre-seen is based on a fictional company called “FireWorks”. The organisation was founded in 1984 by David and Debbie Wheeler. In 2018, their daughter, Catherine, took over as Managing Director. FireWorks is based in Beeland, Europe. 

The company designs, manufactures, and sells a range of outdoor grills aka 'braai stands'. The grills are sold through retailers (68%), directly to customers via the company website (12%), and via couriers to overseas customers (12%). 

Fireworks sales grew by 5% (B$76.50mil from B$72.9mil) for the year, ending 30 June 2022. This is in line with industry growth, which is expected to be around 5% for the next 5 years. The forecast for 2023 is a sales growth of 4.7% (B$80.1mil). 

The company’s profit grew at 9.7% from B$6.5mil to B$7.2mil. FireWorks has a cash balance of B$1.9mil vs B$0.9mil the previous year. Receivables are at 44.6 days, Inventory at 67.9 days, and Payables at 51.3 days. 

Key Exam-Related Takeouts

  • Growing sales and profitable organisation 
  • Commitment to be carbon-neutral in six years 
  • Use of Standard Absorption costing method 
  • Top-down budgeting approach 
  • Keen on innovation and exploring new related product opportunities 
  • High-quality products 
  • Fireworks is a reputable brand with plenty of growth opportunities in Beeland and beyond 
  • Industry trends - launching of cookery schools offering cooking classes with celebrity hosts, growth in digital technology adoption to manufacture compact grills, better temperature control through apps, etc 
  • Fireworks does not own any retail stores 

Product Range 

The company’s portfolio of products consists of large moveable grills of the following types; 

Gas Grills 

  • Firecracker (premium range, available in small and large sizes) 
  • Crackerjack (basic range, available in small and large sizes) 

Charcoal Grills 

  • Spinner (premium range, for large cooking areas) 
  • Rocket (mid-range, for medium cooking areas) Sparkler (for small cooking spaces) 

Electric Grills

  • Wheel (premium range, available in small and large sizes) 


  • Grilling tools, secondary grilling racks, cooking gloves, aprons, cookbooks, and own charcoal range 

Fireworks operates from three locations (Head Office, Production Center, and Distribution Centre) all located within 10 km of each other. The company employs 316 people in total, with 190 in Production, 85 in Distribution and Logistics, and 41 at Head Office. 

Your role is that of a Finance Officer that the Finance Manager. Your role entails the preparation of annual budgets, monthly management accounts, assisting in the preparation of financial statements, and providing information on an ad-hoc basis.

Production Process 

The production process consists of four main phases; 

A. Steel pressing and welding 

  1. Laser cutting and preparation of metal sheets 
  2. Pressing - shaping of metal shapes into required designs of cook boxes 
  3. Welding - making holes in the cook boxes for legs and vents and additional components 

B. Enamelling 

  1. Cleansing of cook boxes before enamelling 
  2. Application of enamel coat (frit) using an electrostatic spray-gun 
  3. Cook boxes are then fired at 850 degrees in a furnace 

C. Assembly

  1. Mechanical - attaching hinges, wheels, brackets, and frames 
  2. Technical - adding temperature gauges, gas burner valves etc, and testing 

D. Packing 

  1. Packing of boxes including all components on a cell layout to maximise efficiencies 
  2. Taping of boxes ready for dispatch to the distribution centre 
  3. There is an element of DIY assembly that the customer must do 


The company operates its own fleet of delivery vehicles for the transportation of goods to retailers and third-party warehouses. External couriers distribute online purchases. 

Exam Preparation Tips 

Follow the CIMA OCS Blueprints to ensure your revision is laser-focused. Use past exams to practice (Feb 2020 – Aug 2022). These are all available on the CIMAhub.

Ensure that you take time to read and understand the question. Then, generate a few points relative to the marks available.

Ensure that your answers are comprehensive, provide enough explanation , and are applied to the scenario.

Make good use of the time available. You will have 45 minutes to read, plan, and type out your answers for each task. Here are some useful articles to perfect your exam technique.

Ensure that your answers are presented in a way that shows integration between P1, F1, and E1. 

Good luck from all of us at BrightBooks!