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Tayside turbine repair firm ATL weathers the Covid headwinds

ATL Turbine Services chief executive Dale Harris.
ATL Turbine Services chief executive Dale Harris.

A hi-tech Dundee turbine component repair company has “weathered the storm” of 2020 as it looks towards new contracts and continued growth.

ATL Turbine Services saw turnover remain steady at £7.2 million for the year ending June 30 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit uncertainty.

Pre-tax profit fell slightly to £1.1m, from £1.5m the previous year.

Based on Piper Street, ATL services the marine, civil aviation, defence aviation and industrial sectors.

It refurbishes late-life aero and light industrial turbine parts, giving them the same integrity and durability as new components.

This provides a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new parts, which in some cases can be difficult to procure.

Chief executive of ATL Turbine Services, Dale Harris said the firm had delivered a robust set of results for the year, although turnover and profitability were severely affected in the last quarter due to the pandemic.

He said: “This has been a hard year for many companies and I’m pleased that ATL has weathered the storm as well as we have.

“2020 was a stellar growth year, right up until lockdown in late March.

“We’ve had some great successes this year, not least being awarded a Vice-President’s Award from Scottish Engineering for outstanding achievement, which we are very proud of.

“Looking to the future, ATL Turbine Services has a healthy pipeline of work, excellent long-term customer relationships and we are in the final stages of securing a new contract win with a major original equipment manufacturer that will provide ongoing growth and job security.”

More than a third of revenue at the firm is generated from exports and ATL implemented a number of strategies to minimise disruption to trade due to Brexit.

New contracts

The firm, founded in the early 1980s, has secured a number of recent contract wins.

In July, ATL announced one of its major customers had extended a contract with the company for a further three years.

It also secured work for a European subsidiary of a major international original equipment manufacturer – a move which will help keep a vital fleet of aircraft operational for several years.

An exclusive contract earlier this year to maintain parts on the jet engine which powers the iconic Panavia Tornado combat aircraft until 2022 also helped secure the company’s 80-strong workforce.

Mr Harris said the firm had been designated an essential business during the lockdown period and had only closed for a week to allow social-distancing measures to be implemented.

This included the introduction of a staggered shifts rota.

He said: “We are fortunate to be in the position to continue with a programme of capital expenditure at the firm.

“By the end of the financial year, we expect to have spent around £250,000 investing in plant and equipment, including extraction benches and an electrical discharge machine which will deliver increased capacity for us.

“Work has been going well and we are getting some excellent feedback from our annual customer survey.

“Both the business and our workforce have proven to be extremely adaptable,” he added.

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