Sheffield Forgemasters International has published its annual figures for 2009/2010, recording increased profitability despite a fall in turnover.
SFIL’s operating profits reached £7.7m, with turnover dropping to £104.8m.
Tony Pedder, chairman of SFIL, said: “The figures reflect a considerable achievement during a period of unfavourable trading conditions, which saw the company’s order book reduce in the year by 14% due principally to a fall in demand for its products. This is a reward for the company’s efforts in securing considerable efficiency improvements.”
SFIL has been conscious of the need to invest to rectify a long period of under-investment by its former owners.
Two major projects have underlined this investment drive: the completion of the new 4,000 tonne press and the development of a new North Machine Shop, primarily for ultra large castings – both aimed at strengthening SFIL’s ability to service key markets. Capital investment reached £6.9m, compared to £18.2 in 2008/2009.
Mr Pedder added: “The 4,000 tonne press is now complete and its efficacy is reaping rewards. The North Machine Shop is currently in the final stages of commissioning and the improved efficiencies associated with this state of the art machining facility, together with a concomitant reduction in the dependency on sub-contractors, should result in improvements to financial and customer performance.”
The Group is actively pursuing strategies for diversification and growth.
Mr Pedder said: “It is with technical innovations and ongoing expertise that our worldwide reputation is enhanced and our future safeguarded.”
Other highlights include: the establishment of new subsidiary Steel Propeller Limited; the concentration on offshore market by subsidiary Vulcan SFM; a 10-year Technology Transfer Agreement with India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited; an investment in R&D of £0.9m; the enhancement of apprenticeship and employee training programmes; the pursuance of alternative strategies for diversification and growth in civil nuclear sector.