Profits rise at Brownhills engineering group Castings
Brownhills engineering and foundry group Castings has seen pre-tax profits grow by more than quarter amid an increase in output at its foundry segment.
For the year ended March 31 2019, profit increased 27.5 per cent to £15.3 million and turnover increased to £150m from £133m a year earlier.
The group saw output rise 6.1 per cent to 52,200 tons and an increase in external sales revenue of 12.7 per cent to £143.1m.
Brian Cooke, chairman of the group which employs around 400 people across its sites, said: "The foundries have seen an increase in output and improved profitability compared to the previous year.
"Whilst profit margins reduced in the first half of the year, we have seen a strong performance in the second half which has seen margins in excess of the previous year.
"Our investment in robotic handling and other process automation have contributed to a rise in productivity during the year along with process quality improvements. Further investments will continue to be made where cost savings can be identified.
"It appears at the present time our order book is sound and schedules remain stable. In particular demand for commercial vehicles is currently strong and it is hoped this trend will continue."
Speaking of the previously struggling CNC Speedwell machining operation, Mr Cooke added: "With the new management team having been in place for the full year, the business has been brought back under operational control; output levels are such that the significant levels of extra transport costs ceased early in the year and the loss for the year has reduced.
"The engineering improvements being made on specific parts have started to improve the profitability, particularly towards the end of the financial year and will continue during 2019/20.
"Inevitably it will take time before we see the full benefit of the changes implemented, but we expect the trading results of CNC Speedwell Limited to improve again during this financial year."