West Midland engineering group Hampson Industries has bounced back into profit despite seeing sales fall by almost third.
The aerospace firm, based in Brierley Hill, saw pre-tax profits for the year to March 31 rise to £22.9 million, compared to £15.4 million the year before.
That came despite a fall in revenue from £256.6 million in the 2009 financial year to £178.3 million, and a £15 million dip in trading profits, to £32.4 million.
Chairman Chris Geoghegan said the results were set against a backdrop of troubled times for the manufacturing sector, but said orders started to improve by the end of the year.
He said delays in airframe programmes had hit the company and it had managed to cut costs to ensure it stayed in the black.
He said: “We have continued to win new work and have delivered a creditable set of results despite the many challenges faced during the year.
“Our orderbook and quotation pipeline have both increased since the year end which we see as a positive indicator. However, the overall rate of recovery during the first two months of the current year has been slower than we had anticipated.
“For this reason it is appropriate to continue to remain cautious about our out-turn expectation for 2010/11 and in particular our results for the six months to September 2010, whilst we assess the rate at which orders are secured that are available for near term production.
“Over the medium to longer term, the Board believes that with the combined strength of our business portfolio, the management actions in hand, and the opportunities emerging in our markets, Hampson is well positioned to return to sustainable growth.”
Hampson, which revealed plans to raise almost £60 million through a share offer in February, managed to cut its net debt by 43 per cent over the course of the year, to £82.3 million.