West Midlands aerospace and precision engineering group Hampson Industries was flying high yesterday after posting a 33 per cent rise in halftime sales.
The Brierley Hill-based group said sales for the six months to September 30 rose from £ 34 . 5 million to £45.8 million.
Pretax profit was £877,000 compared with £401,000, while basic earnings per share rose 60 per cent to 0.24 pence from 0.15 pence.
Hampson, which recently made two acquisitions in the US, said it was benefiting from a sustained recovery in commercial aerospace markets, while there was also continuing strong demand for automotive turbo-chargers.
Chairman Tony Gilroy told shareholders: " Our new capacity and recently announced proposed acquisitions transform Hampson's strategic presence in aerospace, notably in laminates and the high growth composites market.
"Automotive turbo charger demand has also remained at a high level with encouraging prospects for further medium-to-long term growth. Against this background, we are continuing to invest for growth to secure opportunities to maximise value for our shareholders."
Aerospace sales came in at £10.4 million, a rise of 49 per cent.
Hampson said the intensive development activity taking place at its Bromford Gate aerospace machining facility in Birmingham, which now employs around 200 people, was almost complete.
"Performance at our larger aerospace fabrications facility at Wigan was held back during the first half as a result of a continued deferral of military spares and repairs ordering by the Ministry of Defence.
" Improved results are expected in the second half due to rising build rates on a number of commercial programmes as well as actions that have already been taken to improve margins."
The group has also strengthened its senior management team with two new appointments.
Tim Hayter was named group chief operating officer, while Brendan Johnson moves from Dana Corporation to become managing director of Hampson ' s aerospace machining facility in Birmingham.
Hampson still needs needs shareholder approval for its latest acquisitions at a special meeting on December 15 in Birmingham.
The two deals - worth £61.2 million - involve Coast Composites, a private company making precision tooling systems to produce big composite structures for aerospace, defence and satellite communications, and Lamsco West, which specialises in sophisticated laminated aerospace parts known as shims.