Sewtec order book reaches £25m a year after management buyout

Andrew Ross, left, of Endless, and Sawtec MD Mark Cook

Dewsbury-based robotics specialist Sewtec has secured a record £25m order book following a successful management buyout one year ago.

The company designs and builds factory automation systems for the food, pharmaceutical, personal care and tobacco industries. Its clients include Nestlé, Unilever Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, with more than 85% of its sales being exports.

Sewtec’s £25m order book is the largest the company has achieved since its formation in 1982, and includes major automation projects to be delivered within the next one to two years, many of which are repeat business from existing clients.

Its strong performance means the company is on track to achieve its ambition of doubling turnover to £32m by 2022.

It also marks the first anniversary of Sewtec’s MBO, which was backed by Leeds-headquartered private equity firm Endless in August 2017. The company’s management team of technical director Gary Day, controls director Karl Conqueror and sales director Paul Johnson led the buyout, after which MD Mark Cook joined the company.

Sewtec has also announced the appointment of management team members to director. Ian Walch has been appointed as project director, Lizzie Hay becomes finance director and Mark Atkins becomes director of business services.

To support project delivery, the company has also significantly increased its headcount by recruiting 20 new highly skilled employees across engineering, manufacturing and sales roles. This brings its headcount to 80 people, with plans to bring an additional 40 jobs to the region within the next four years.

In June, Sewtec also opened a new mechanical and software engineering design office at Silkwood Park in Wakefield and an assembly and commissioning site in Normanton, complementing its existing 23,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Dewsbury.

Endless director Andrew Ross said: “Sewtec has had an exceptional first year following the MBO and goes into its second year of new ownership with real momentum. The company has a strong management team, a compelling proposition and enormous potential to expand further in its chosen markets both in the UK and internationally.

“Endless is a transformational investor. Last year we were very excited about the opportunity to invest in an already very successful, longstanding Yorkshire business and to support the management team in transforming it into a more scalable operation. One year on, we are very pleased with what Mark and the team have achieved so far and remain excited about the future of Sewtec.”

Underpinning Sewtec’s transformational change is the company’s strategic business plan led by MD Mark Cook. He said: “Our strong order book demonstrates the outstanding reputation that Sewtec has built. There is ongoing demand for the Sewtec brand, services and products, and this has opened up many prospects for us in the sectors and markets we operate in.

“This is also a success for highly-skilled British manufacturing. Our excellent export record shows the appeal of our bespoke automation systems on a global stage, driven by an innovative approach and world-class customer experience.

“With a skilled and dedicated team across all areas of the business, we’re in a robust position to continue our growth plan and reach our ambitious goal of becoming a 120-strong £32m turnover business.”