Full year profits have soared for West Midlands aerospace and precision engineering group Hampson Industries.
The Brierley Hill-based group, which employs 230 people at its production facility in Bromford Gate, Birmingham, yesterday said that full-year pretax profit before exceptionals and impairment charges for the year to March 31 rose by 199 per cent to £5.4 million, while trading profits climbed by 155 per cent to £8.3 million, ahead of consensus forecasts.
Sales were 34 per cent higher at £104.5 million.
E a r n i n g s per share rose 138 per cent, from 2.26p to 5.38p. Chief executive Kim Ward said that as well as c o n t i n u e d growth in H a m p s o n ' s automotive and aerospace businesses, the group's revenue base had been strengthened through diversification into new material and process technologies and niche product sectors.
These included advanced new transparency and composite products for US military fighter, transport and helicopter programmes; composite structures for commercial airframe applications; close-tolerance tooling systems for major composite aero structures and a range of shim products for Boeing's family of single and widebodied commercial aircraft.
Chairman Tony Gilroy told shareholders: "Good progress was achieved in 2005-06.
"Our carefully targeted investments and acquisition of niche businesses with outstanding capabilities will help us meet the future needs of the aerospace sector and build a strong platform for continuing growth.
"From this platform we will continue to pursue appropriate opportunities for organic, as well as external growth, from which we believe we can deliver real, long-term value for our shareholders."
Following the acquisitions of US firms Texstars, Coast Composites and Lamsco, Hampson expects that almost half its sales will be generated by its American subsidiaries in 2006-07.
"These carefully selected acquisitions have also opened access to the largest military market in the world, brought us an unrivalled blue chip customer base in airframe manufacture and provided us with advanced new manufacturing processes and technologies that are helping to reposition our business," added Mr Gilroy.
"Each of our recent acquisitions has been successfullyintegrated into the Hampson Group and is performing ahead of our expectations.
"Coast Composites is the largest supplier of large, close tolerance tooling systems for aerostructures manufactured out of composite materials in the US and the acquisition of Lamsco provides us with a world number one position in the niche market for laminated shims and related components."
Hampson's new greenfield plant in Bangalore, India, is now nearing completion, giving the group an extra 50,000 sq ft of space for the manufacture of small precision components for the automotive sector.
"In order to capitalise to the fullest extent possible, our shareholding in this venture has increased to 94 per cent as of May 24. Manufacturing is expected to commence at the end of the first half of our current financial year," Mr Ward added.
Eventually, the 14-acre site will house another 100,000 sq ft of space and employ some 350 people, he said.