Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has reported a year of progress following the arrival of a new executive team last year.
David Bond, who joined as the new CEO in August, has overseen a return to profitability in a year of progress for the company.
For the year ended 31 December 2018, the company recorded revenue of £66.3 million (down from £76.1m in 2017) with pre-tax profit of £2.1 million (up from £0.2m in 2017) and enters 2019 with an order book of £160 million.
“During my first 6 months, the business has focussed on delivery of high specification products to the defence sectors in the UK and US, whilst improving margins in the fiercely competitive steel processing market,” said Mr Bond.
“This has underpinned a return to a modest level of pre-tax profitability in 2018, despite lower revenues, and provides a solid foundation to further develop the business in 2019.
“We have also renewed our efforts to expand our customer base for premium products and design consultancy in complex engineering applications, to drive future margins and profitability.
“Our technical capability and reputation for innovation is a key market differentiator and demands we maintain our skill base through our apprenticeship programme, research and development efforts and investment in the latest manufacturing technology.”
The company has also reported a significant reduction in net debt of £11.5 million in the year, from £31.8 million to £20.3 million, following an extension of its lending facilities with Wells Fargo in November to 30 April 2020.
CFO Steve Hammell said: “We have successfully reversed the trend of rising debt levels in the business by a strict focus on cash management whilst maintaining levels of capital expenditure.
“Having recently extended our lending facilities with a £40 million limit, the debt reduction achieved provides the financial headroom to accelerate investment in 2019 for the longer-term benefit of our customers and employees.”
Looking forward to 2019, the company has launched a transformation programme to deliver improvements in new business capture, operational effectiveness and cost competitiveness.