The boss of Birmingham-based engineering group Metalrax says he is facing a "big job" to turn the ailing company around.
And he says it could be two years before it is back on track.
His comments follow a turbulent period at the £120 million turnover firm which has 1,700 employees, 1,200 of them in the West Midlands.
Last month it relegated itself from the London Stock Exchange's main list to the Alternative Investment Market to reflect its smaller market capitalisation.
It posted pre-tax profits before exceptional items of £2.26 million for the year to December 31, compared with £6.5 million a year earlier.
The group sold its troubled Bacol Fine Blanking business, which had customers such as Land Rover and General Motors, to Rical, announced an about-turn on its Romania operations after chief executive Andrew Richardson decided to reverse the previous strategy of moving production to the low-cost country, and brought in a new management team.
And the company, which manufactures everything from steel construction to baking trays, announced a major shake-up - disposing of poorly performing high volume automotive components businesses and focusing on new hi-tech markets with higher margins.
Now, in an interview with The Birmingham Post, Mr Richardson, a former Rover executive, said he wanted to move the group into sectors which offered growth.
In the past two to three years its traditional markets had "worsened very significantly" while certain acquisitions had not worked out.
In particular, Bacol Fine Blanking had "really wounded the group".
Management time and effort had been sucked into trying to sort it out leaving the rest of the business neglected.
As for Romania, Mr Richardson said he did not want to be in automotive anywhere in terms of high volume production, did not want to be tied to a subsidiary so far away when in three to four years time that might not be the cheapest place to produce, and did not have the time to get such a loss-making operation into profit.
"My strategy is very different - it is to deliver high returns on investment and organic profit growth."
Metalrax will exit all high volume, low margin automotive businesses and develop areas like housewares and healthcare.
In housewares it already has some strong brands - the likes of Mermaid, Prestige, Longlife and Microwise.
And it has some good technologies - one of only two companies in the world to be able to put a non-stick coating on to steel which stays put at high cooking temperatures.
The division had been implementing lean production techniques and was into product sourcing for - in relative terms - smaller scale retailers like Morrisons.
Housewares had delivered profits of £2.3 million in 2007.
Healthcare was a growth sector driven by everyone living longer and developing medical techniques.
Metalrax was not looking to make medical equipment instead concentrating on associated infrustructure - for example, its PG Lifelink business in the United States made isolator power systems for hospitals.
It was making a 20 per cent return on sales. Mr Richardson is wary about the current economic downturn but not put off by it.
He said: "I am concerned about the retail side and we are seeing the effect. March hurt us; April wasn't great."
But it was about long term opportunities and growth rather than short term economic problems.
"The management we have in place now can cope with whatever is thrown at them."
Mr Richardson has been eight months in place. "It is a big job and to get the company steady and put some concrete building blocks in place will take two years. It is tough but exciting."