Prof­its rise at WL Gore de­spite fall in turnover

PRO­DUC­TION: Sales of higher-mar­gin prod­ucts in­crease at UK arm of global firm

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - BUSINESS - busi­ness@the­courier.co.uk rob mclaren

Gore-tek mak­ers WL Gore & As­so­ciates (UK) Ltd, which op­er­ates in Dundee, has re­ported a large jump in prof­its de­spite re­duced turnover.

Turnover slipped back by 12% in the year to March 2017 to £98.8 mil­lion, but profit be­fore tax rose by 31% from £16.5 mil­lion to £21.7m.

The UK arm of the Us-based com­pany em­ploys 300 peo­ple be­tween its sites in Dundee and Liv­ingston.

The strong fi­nan­cial re­sults fol­low the global fab­rics divi­sion’s de­ci­sion to end man­u­fac­tur­ing in the UK.

This led to a phased with­drawal of fab­ric man­u­fac­tur­ing at the Liv­ingston plant. The to­tal head count be­tween the two sites re­duced from 380 dur­ing the fi­nan­cial year.

Di­rec­tor Rodger Pheely said: “The strong bal­ance sheet con­tin­ues to pro­vide a sound plat­form for fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties fol­low­ing a re­struc­tur­ing pro­gramme of the fab­rics divi­sion and con­tin­u­ing oper­a­tions at our per­for­mance so­lu­tions divi­sion in Dundee.

“Dur­ing the last 12 months, the fab­rics divi­sion suc­cess­fully im­ple­mented a phased ces­sa­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ing in the UK and moved to fo­cus oper­a­tions on prod­uct sales and the sup­port of global busi­nesses from the UK.”

At Dundee’s Technology Park the firm makes high-per­for­mance cop­per and op­ti­cal sig­nal trans­mis­sion elec­tronic prod­ucts.

Liv­ingston man­u­fac­tures fil­tra­tion prod­ucts for med­i­cal and in­dus­trial mar­kets.

Mr Pheely put the in­crease in prof­its due to more sales of higher-mar­gin prod­ucts.

He con­tin­ued: “Whilst turnover has de­creased, there has been an in­crease in pre-tax profit in the year to £22m driven by an in­creased per­cent­age of sales of higher-mar­gin prod­ucts, re­duced op­er­at­ing costs due to the planned re­struc­tur­ing and lower non-op­er­at­ing ex­cep­tional items.

“Our prod­ucts con­tinue to pro­vide added value to our cus­tomers, and our fo­cus on im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency across our global oper­a­tions has in­creased prof­itabil­ity.”

Dur­ing the year liq­uid funds avail­able rose to £110m from £89m and share­hold­ers’ funds in­creased from £100m to £105m.

Com­ment­ing on the po­ten­tial im­pact of Brexit, Mr Pheely added: “The di­rec­tors re­main of the opin­ion that the re­gional mix of fu­ture ship­ments to­gether with the im­pact of sig­nif­i­cant changes to the fab­rics oper­a­tions will mit­i­gate any po­ten­tial neg­a­tive con­se­quences of Brexit on the trad­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of the com­pany.”

The WL Gore & As­so­ciates plant at Dundee Technology Park. Pic­ture: Kris Miller.

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