Specialist engineering company Key Technologies has seen a slight dip in pretax profits following a difficult year in its switchgear business.
The firm, which employs 100 people in the West Midlands and is chaired by industrialist David Grove, saw pretax underlying profit of £2.7 million compared with £2.9 million the previous year.
In its preliminary results, the group reported that sales revenues during the year ended 30 June were £20.9 million, up slightly from 2009’s figure of £20.7 million.
Key also saw trading profit at its core defence business rise by 31 per cent compared with the previous year.
It said the division made a quantum leap with the acquisition in June of the business and assets of Lincoln-based Primetake for £10.5 million.
Primetake, a supplier of special purpose ammunition and equipment, has now been integrated within the group, the firm said, leading to a major expansion into the robust homeland security markets.
Annual sales of Primetake are running at around £11 million of which approximately 70 per cent are exports.
As a result of lower demand in the UK, the group’s rail business, which supplies signalling and communications solutions, reported a six per cent fall in trading profits.
However, the year saw this division’s first significant export contract of £0.8 million from the Far East and more overseas orders are likely to follow, the firm said.
Key Technologies group chief executive David Miller said: “STS Defence has demonstrated strong growth, and the Primetake acquisition in particular will have a positive impact going forward.
“Primetake is a well-established manufacturer and supplier with strong international markets and an excellent reputation for quality and service.
“In terms of other group operations, I believe that our rail business will, in the future, benefit from increased revenues from export markets as well as its long term customer partnerships and its ethos of product development.
David Grove, non-executive chairman, said: “The group is developing in line with our strategic plans.
“The current year has started in line with our expectations and our order book in the defence and homeland security division, including Primetake, is building up healthily.
“As a result of the anticipated timing of contracts, the revenues for the current year will be more biased towards the second half of the year than has been the case historically.
“We now have a robust and well financed platform from which to make further earnings enhancing acquisitions.”