Local firm reports rising profits amid Covid-19 turmoil

Local firm reports rising profits amid Covid-19 turmoil

A BRIGHOUSE-based manufacturer has reported rising profits in its first year since a management buy out.

Welded steel mesh product manufacturer Siddall and Hilton Products has seen turnover remain steady year-on-year, and a healthy order book going forward.

The company’s latest financial results for the year ending March 31, 2020, show that turnover was £18.2m, compared with £18.4m the previous year which included revenues of £470,000 relating to a discontinued furniture springs manufacturing operation.

Since the deal in August 2019,, the business has seen improvements in operating efficiencies leading to a rise in like-for-like pre-tax profits from £1.07m in 2018/19 to £1.49m in the latest financial year – a 39 per cent increase.

Founded in 1895, Siddall and Hilton Products Ltd is the UK’s largest manufacturer of industrial welded steel mesh for high-security fencing, general fencing and industrial mesh panels. The company processes around 20,000 tonnes of wire a year. With a 50-strong team based at its West Yorkshire headquarters, the company is also seeing growing overseas’ interest in its products.

Having led a consortium of existing management team members in the buyout, Ian Thurley, chief executive, is now driving the business forward, promoting greater employee engagement and implementing ambitious plans for future investment.

“Following the MBO in summer 2019, we have embarked on a period of review and improvement, including restructuring our back office operation which has enabled the business to run more efficiently and resulted in better profit margins,” said Mr Thurley.

“While the disruption of the COVID-19 outbreak back in March meant that we were closed for four weeks, overall, the pandemic has not had a major impact on us. With our COVID safety measures in place, we enjoyed a busy summer and are able to continue to operate, even during the current lockdown.

“With much of the economy struggling, the strength of the UK’s manufacturing sector is evident with it showing resilience after a year of turmoil.

“Thanks to the skill and commitment of our team at Siddall and Hilton Products, we had the strongest July in over a decade and already we have a full order book into next year.

“Encouragingly, we are also seeing major international projects come to market and recently secured a significant contract in France.”

He added that despite having lost turnover during the first lockdown, and taking on the addition costs of becoming COVID secure, the businesses was in a healthy position.

He said that due to the team’s hard work and commitment, they are now planning some major investments next year, including expanding the workforce.