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Turnover at Martin Aerospace soars thanks to global boom

January 29, 2014

greig cameron; greig cameron

AEROSPACE engineering business Martin Aerospace has reported a year of record turnover and signalled further growth is in the pipeline.

The business, which has its base at the Caldwellside Industrial Estate by Lanark, said it is benefiting from the boom in the global aircraft market which has seen Boeing and Airbus secure billions of pounds worth of orders in recent years.

Research published this week by trade body ADS suggested the UK aerospace industry as a whole has nine years of work lined up.

Martin, established in 1993 as a general engineering business but focused on aerospace since 2006, supplies parts for aero engines as well as providing supply chain management services into the sector.

The company said annual accounts being filed at Companies House will show its turnover rose 32% from pound(s)4.4m to pound(s)5.8m in the 12 months to the end of September last year, with operating profits up from pound(s)248,675 to pound(s)350,800.

Alongside that financial performance, staff numbers rose from 61 to 74, with the majority of the posts being taken by skilled engineering workers.

Managing director William Martin said: "These are very encouraging figures and reflect the level of customer service we provide for our key clients. The particular industry we are in is a growth industry and based on worldwide sales.

"The aerospace industry is looking to China and all these countries that are pushing ahead.

"Irrespective of what is happening in Europe, a lot of engines and planes are being sold and we are part and parcel of that."

Mr Martin attributed the profit growth to the fact the business had brought in greater revenue as well as "a little bit of working smarter".

He said: "Margins were relatively steady. Some product groups were up and some down.

"In terms of raw materials, metal demand has backed off and prices have not gone through the roof as they did five or six years ago. So prices have been steady, if not slightly dipping."

The Martin's order book has long-term visibility through supply deals with the likes of Rolls Royce and Pattonair.

As a result, turnover at the Scottish firm is predicted to see a double digit percentage rise over each of the next three years and reach around pound(s)9m in 2016.

Mr Martin said: "We are in the fortunate position of enjoying a lot of repeat business, thanks to the long term supply arrangements we have with our blue-chip client base. These agreements vary in length from three to 14 years, which has allowed us to plan for the long term, and recruit skilled people in the knowledge there is work for them for many years to come."

Mr Martin confirmed the business will continue its strategy of investing in additional people and infrastructure in the coming years.

He said: "We are looking forward confidently. There are peaks and troughs as that is what happens on a month by month or quarter by quarter basis but generally speaking, there is a rise in demand for our product.

"However, we are taking nothing for granted. We work in an industry where precision is everything and our success is built on meeting exact specifications every time.

"There will be investment in modern new equipment and the skills and techniques which are being applied to make that equipment efficient.

"It will also be in the types of IT and communication systems we have [in order] to make it easier for the customer to deal with us automatically."

Martin received a pound(s)100,000 grant from UK Steel Enterprise in October 2012, which it put to improving manufacturing and quality assurance procedures at its plant.

While recruitment will continue in the months ahead, Mr Martin said it has become more and more difficult to find people with the appropriate skills.

He said: "It is not easy and you have to work harder at getting the right people than say 10 years ago.

"We have always maintained a strong apprenticeship scheme which allows us to organically grow our engineers as we go along."


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Source: Herald, The (Scotland)


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