Profits rise at WL Gore despite fall in turnover
PRODUCTION: Sales of higher-margin products increase at UK arm of global firm
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.