SHEFFIELD Forgemasters today (Thursday) report increased profits, despite difficult trading conditions.
The operating profit of the Brightside Lane engineering company, which has 800 employees, has gone up from £2.3m to £5.4m, according to the latest figures, with strong performances in offshore, power generation and defence markets.
Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd chairman Tony Pedder said it was “a very positive result” in the current climate.
According to its annual results for 2011/12, cash flow from operating activities went up from £6.2m to £7.1m and turnover was £106.8m compared with £107.5m in the previous year.
It was against a background of “significant” expenditure on research and development, training and apprenticeships, continued capital expenditure and environmental improvements.
Already there is optimism for the next year, said Tony Pedder, chairman of SFIL.
He said: “It is very pleasing to report that despite continuing difficult conditions affecting most of our markets, operating profit for the year increased with our turnover remaining virtually unchanged from last year.
“In the context of the global economy and our industry, this is a very positive result.
“Our strongest markets continue to be the offshore oil and gas, where our project management company, Vulcan SFM Limited has been particularly active and successful in meeting the complex needs of our customers, but power generation and defence sectors are also strong.
“Demand in most of our other markets remained subdued and consequently, margins have remained tight.”
Mr Pedder added: “As well as continuing to strive to meet the most complex needs of our customers, we have responded to these challenging conditions by focusing our attention on costs and efficiencies. Our senior team has constantly sought to adopt lean manufacturing techniques, supply chain improvements and a sound control environment, to good effect.
“We have also continued to focus our efforts on research and development. We believe it is vital to keep pushing the boundaries of our technology and expertise in order to keep enhancing our reputation as a leader in our field.”
All research and development is now being channelled through a new subsidiary, Sheffield Forgemasters RD26 Ltd.
In recent week, Forgemasters have announced multi-million pound deals in South America and a repeat order after its first ever contract in Romania.
*An image of a huge shaft at Sheffield Forgemasters led to an invitation to Sheffield amateur photographer Mark Tomlinson to the Made in Britain Photography Awards at the Houses of Parliament.
His photograph of the shaft that was a rapid replacement after the Sayano Sushenskaya hydro accident in Russia in 2009 will be exhibited at a ceremony next month that celebrates British design and manufacturing.
The competition is backed by the manufacturers’ organisation, EEF.