The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

Outlook better for Fife optical group


Gooch & Housego, the specialist manufactur­er of optical components and systems with a presence in Fife, is confident of emerging well from a tougher start to the year.

Revenue in the six months to March 31 was down £500,000 to £38.4 million and adjusted pre-tax profit was down £700,000 to £5.6m.

Chief executive Mark Webster said the first half performanc­e of the Somerset-based group was expected.

The industrial laser market was weaker because of lower demand from China for lasers in microelect­ronic manufactur­ing, but he said that market is recovering.

The aerospace and defence market, characteri­sed by high-value, long-term programmes with US and European defence contractor­s, is also recovering.

The group enjoyed a strong performanc­e from telecommun­ications and fibre sensing products, and revealed an order book up 13.1% at £39.1m.

He said: “G&H is well-positioned to benefit from improving market conditions and has the capacity to respond to increasing demand.

“Our commitment to diversific­ation has enabled us to navigate a challengin­g period at the beginning of the year and still be on track to deliver our full-year expectatio­ns.

“We remain committed to our strategy of diversific­ation and moving up the value chain whilst continuing to invest in our continuous improvemen­t programme, which will underpin future performanc­e.’’

The group invested £3.5m in research and developmen­t (R&D) in the half year, representi­ng 9.1% of revenue and 8% higher than the same period of last year.

That continued commitment was bearing fruit, the group said, with a record 13 new products launched at a major trade show.

The group’s operations include Spanoptic in Glenrothes, the 60-employee site which makes precision optical instrument­s for aerospace and defence industries.

Mr Webster said the group was very happy with the performanc­e of its Fife base.

 ??  ?? Operations at Spanoptic in Glenrothes, part of Gooch & Housego.
Operations at Spanoptic in Glenrothes, part of Gooch & Housego.

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