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Losses narrow by more than £5 million at Dundee based pump maker

Courier News  Dundee  Rob McLaren story - CR0015849 - Pic of Ken Scobie, operations director of Dover Fueling Solutions who is talking about how robotics has revolutionised the business. Story is linked to Dover sponsoring the new V&A robotics exhibition. Picture Shows; fuel pumps produced in the plant, Dover Fuelling Solutions, West Pitkerro Industrial Estate, Dundee, 31st October 2019  Kim Cessford / DCT Media
Courier News Dundee Rob McLaren story - CR0015849 - Pic of Ken Scobie, operations director of Dover Fueling Solutions who is talking about how robotics has revolutionised the business. Story is linked to Dover sponsoring the new V&A robotics exhibition. Picture Shows; fuel pumps produced in the plant, Dover Fuelling Solutions, West Pitkerro Industrial Estate, Dundee, 31st October 2019 Kim Cessford / DCT Media

Losses have narrowed by more than £5 million at a Tayside fuel pump manufacturer after turnover jumped by almost a quarter.

Newly filed accounts at Companies House show Dover Fuelling Solutions (DFS)  turnover rose from £111.8m in 2018, to £138.4m for the year ending December 31, 2018.

Pre-tax losses fell from £10.7m, to £5m over the trading period.

DFS, which acquired the Tokheim brand three years ago, employs more than 700 workers in Dundee.

With the relocation of Wayne’s manufacturing activities from Malmo in Sweden to the firm’s DFS facility in Dundee completed in 2018, last year saw a full twelve months of production from the city.

Commenting in the annual accounts, director Alistair Johnston said: “Revenues have increased year on year principally through the relocations of the Swedish manufacturing activities to the Dundee facility in 2018.

“In addition, the business was successful in a number of key contract tenders during the year, leading to stable revenue generation.”

Mr Johnston said the Covid-19 had not been foreseen as the business moved into 2020, however the reaction by DFS UK management had been “swift”.

He said: “Through Q1, protection of the DFS supply chain was the immediate priority – as a result, enhanced inventory levels were put in place to ensure the continuation of production.

“Focus in March turned to towards the facility and ensuring all staff were safe and government guidance was followed.

“As a result, the facility was reconfigured to ensure social distancing measures were put in place.”

Measures included improved sanitisation practices, one-way systems , regular “fogging” procedures to disinfect the entire site and strict social distancing rules.

Mr Johnstone added that lower outputs were experienced through April and May as a result of the pause in production while the facility was reconfigured.

He said: “It is anticipated that the lower output through Q2 will lead to a 20% reduction in revenue over the full year versus 2019.

“Margins, primarily through Q2, will consequently be affected through the lower output and the subsequent under absorption of fixed costs,” he warned.

In October, the firm began trials of a cleaning robot at its West Pitkerro Industrial Estate facility to reduce the risk of staff contracting Covid-19.

Named Thor, the autonomous cleaning robot uses ultraviolet light to wipe out bugs in the air and on surfaces.

Over the period, Europe delivered the largest share of turnover, with £104.8m, followed by the rest of the world at £22.9m, while the UK market generated £10.7m.

The firm said the impact of Brexit and the potential effect on the company remains unclear.

The average number of staff fell from 777 in 2018, to 745 last year, with 517 employed in production roles, 90 in sales and distribution and 138 working in administration.

The bill for wages and associated costs amounted to £28.4m.

Globally the firm has more than 2,800 employees and its products are sold in more than 150 countries.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dover Corporation, which is registered in the US and has a number of brands.

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