RYOBI operates a manufacturing plant in Carrickfergus and specialising in aluminium castings for the motor vehicle sector. The value of annual sales increased year by year until 2015. The results for 2016 reflect a pause in the growth of sales figures, remaining at nearly the same level as a year earlier at £75.2m.
Looking ahead, the strategic report, possibly cautiously, says the directors are not aware of any likely major changes in their activities in 2017.
The trading results in 2016 recorded an operating loss of just under £4m, in contrast to an operating profit of over £1m in the previous year.
The change is explained as a consequence of high product launch costs for new contracts and also that ramp-up volumes were lower than expected with some projects delayed until 2017-2018. A return to profitable trading is anticipated.
After allowance for net interest costs on borrowed funds, the pre-tax position was a loss of nearly £4.2m in 2016.
The company makes specific mention of the possible implications of Brexit as a source of increased economic uncertainty. The company will “continue to monitor the impact of Brexit throughout the current year” and, as they add cautiously, beyond.
In 2016, the business paid dividends of only £250,000 to the parent shareholder, which was less than the payment of £590,000 for the previous year.
A feature of the company report is an emphasis on a continuing research and development (R&D) programme.
New product launches are expected to continue to grow and develop the business. Expenditure on R&D amounted to nearly £0.9m in both 2015 and 2016.
Capital expenditure in 2016, at £7.8m, has remained at a high level, more than offsetting provisions set aside for depreciation of £4.1m.
Employment has been maintained at the higher level of an average of 455 people, 15% higher than in 2015.