Management deal for Worcester Presses, as it celebrates record year of sales

A Black Country manufacturing specialist has been bought by its management team, as part of ambitious plans to build on a record year of sales.

Worcester Presses, which provides a range of mechanical and hydraulic presses and coil processing equipment for clients all over the UK, has seen turnover jump by £700,000 to £3.2million, off the back of strong demand from the automotive, aerospace and construction sectors.

In order to build on the recent expansion, the owner, Charles Higgins, has sold his majority stake in the business to current directors Russell Hartill, Tony Carter and Ivan Littlewood.

The trio, who all have extensive experience in the machinery industry, have already signalled their intentions by investing in a new CNC lathe and the recruitment of administrative and machining apprentices.

“Worcester Presses has over 69 years of history and a proud reputation for the quality of the machines we supply and the high levels of customer service we provide,” explained Russel Hartill, who has taken over as managing director.

“This is a fantastic business to develop and a lot of the track record and platform we have in place for future growth has come from the hard work, knowledge and contacts that Charles has brought to the business over the last 40 years.”

He went on to add: “He’ll continue in a sales and consultancy role and we are looking forward to leveraging his expertise as we look to build on a 20 per cent rise in sales in 2018.

“A lot of this growth has been down to our ability to deliver turnkey packages, with more customers looking for their hydraulic and mechanical presses to be tailored to their exact specification - often looking to integrate coil processing as part of the installation.”

The mechanical Chin Fong range of presses is still the core element of the Worcester Presses’ business, closely followed by its growing range of Tomac Coil Handling equipment, Yeh Chiun hydraulic presses and press transfer equipment.

Employing 14 people at its 12,000 sq ft factory in Dudley, the company has seen a 35 per cent increase in sales for its range of hydraulic presses, offering both C Frame and straight side presses to customers involved in the metal forming and stamping industry.

The firm has also signed an agreement with a press transfer system specialist to shortly enable it to supply complete automation/robotic packages in the UK, providing clients with a way of streamlining labour-intensive manufacturing applications.

Operations director Tony Carter said: “The investment in our new Dudley base on Crescent Industrial Estate has been a game-changing decision for the business. It has given us a more modern image and the additional capacity to store additional machines and adapt presses and coil handling equipment, so they are operational as soon as they are installed at the customer’s factory.

“A major recent project has included the delivery of a 600 tonne hydraulic press for a significant car manufacturer, whilst two 150 and 200 tonne ‘new arrivals’ have already been sold and are waiting to be commissioned – that’s the level of demand we are currently witnessing.”

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