Castings and engineering group Chamberlin has enjoyed very encouraging revenue growth after a challenging period. It had suffered technical issues at its new facility which had hit earnings and its share price, but is now ready to put those problems behind it.
While the year has delivered on their revenue expectations, margins have suffered due to the difficulties they have encountered in the start-up of our new machining facility, and ramp up of the Walsall foundry to meet unexpected demand. The technical issues at the new machining facility continue to improve. New products Tor machining are also being introduced.
Revenues were up 17% to £37.7m in the year to March, but underlying operating profits nearly halved to £0.4m. The group remains well placed for further progress over the new financial year as cost efficiencies are realised.
Diversification into electrification and body in white is enabling the in-house machining facility at Grainger and Worrall to boost turnover, contributing up to £8m to the group’s overall figures.
Initially set up to deliver complex, low-tolerance machining support to Grainger and Worrall’s own cylinder heads and engine castings, the facility has since grown to work directly with OEM customers, delivering precision machined parts for customers all over the world.
Key to the success of the centre is the increasing work that Grainger and Worrall is doing with customers at the design for manufacture stage, enabling it to diversify into new areas including electronic drive units (EDUs).
This transfer of capability is enabling Grainger and Worrall to successfully extend its scope of work, sectors. In addition to creating a dedicated flexible manufacturing system to supply body nodes to small series supply.
New research has revealed that the country’s small and medium-sized manufacturers are planning to take on more staff in a bid to boost productivity and sales.
Of the almost 300 manufacturing SME leaders surveyed, more than half (53%) expressed their intention to hire more employees over the next six months. This is 5% up on the past quarter and the highest figure reported for more than two years, illustrating a strong confidence in the marketplace despite continued uncertainty regarding Brexit and trade talks.
In other positive news, the latest National Manufacturing Barometer, conducted by SWMAS (part of Exelin Group) in partnership 60% manufacturers saw an increase in sales, with 68% expecting orders to rise between now and the end of 2018.
Investment aspirations – while slightly down on the last report – are still healthy just under half (48%) planning to spend on new machinery and premises.
The National Barometer’s special focus this quarter found that – unsurprisingly – many SMEs lack skilled staff within their manufacturing teams, ’particularly with technical levels in design, general management and operational levels in sales and marketing. leaders also had concerns about the quality of staff training, the attitude of some new recruits, salary expectations and the cost and quality of recruitment.
Britain’s manufacturing sector has shrunk in the past decade by almost 600,000 jobs to leave fewer than 3 million workers employed in the sector, whereas the Index of Production increased same time. According to a report by the GMB, 599,100 jobs in the sector disappeared between 2007 and 2017, which is a massive fall of 17%.
Between them the lost jobs have meant that £2.3bn less has been paid in manufacturing jobs by 2016, that had slumped to just 2.9 million or 9.2% of the total. The reports states, that every region in the UK has experienced a decline in manufacturing employment.
Three badly affected regions – London, Scotland and the North West- have lost 27%, 22% and 21% of their manufacturing jobs respectively. The worst affected region by total job losses – the North West – lost 93,500 manufacturing jobs.
The GMB’s Making It campaign is calling on the government in invest in manufacturing and protect manufacturing jobs during Brexit. A decline in employment does not necessarily mean a decline in productivity, the output in the UK Industry Increased from November 2008 to March 2018.
The graphs, issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that the economic downturn in November 2008 was followed by a broadly upward trend from 97.6 points up to 105.1 in March 2018 which Is the highest index since March 2008.
According to the ONS, renewable energy projects, boats, aeroplanes and cars for export helped that the UK manufacturing output expanded at its fastest rate since early 2008. Another factor that has contributed to a productivity boost Is the increasing amount of new technologies which have been implemented since 2008.
Hopes for a bounce-back for the UK economy after its sluggish start to the year have been cast into doubt after official figures showed a sharp downturn in the manufacturing sector.
The 1.4% decline in April reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) was the biggest fall since October 2012. It sent the pound sliding below $1.34 against the US dollar as expectations of an interest rate hike later this summer were dampened. The Bank of England has indicated that it does not plan to raise rates until it sees proof that the economy is on a firmer footing.
Latest figures showed widespread weakness across much of the manufacturing sector, continuing an overall slowdown in recent months after a period of sustained growth over the latter part of 2017.