A major Arbroath employer has seen sales bounce back after being hit by Covid-19 pandemic disruption.
Interplex PMP, a component manufacturer for the automotive and electronics industries, is also continuing to invest heavily in the business.
The company, whose managing director is Stephen Barlow, employs more than 170 people in the town.
Despite the adverse impact of the virus, there have been no redundancies at Interplex PMP – and the company has actually been hiring more staff recently.
Investment to keep competitive
The firm’s directors say in a strategic report with the latest annual results that they recognise fresh investment is necessary to remain competitive.
As a result, more than £636,000 was spent on new plant and machinery in the 12 months to the end of June 2020.
They also describe the last financial year as “challenging” due to the pandemic and commercial uncertainties surrounding Brexit.
The directors are “satisfied” with the firm’s performance in a year where the final four months of trading were badly affected by Covid-19 disruption.
Factory closure due to Covid
They add: “Our factory was obliged to fully close for a three-week period on government direction and on our return, customer sales demand was significantly reduced.
“Despite this and before intra-group costs and charges are taken into account, we achieved an adjusted operating profit of £666,809 in the period (as against £705,086 the year before).”
The strategic report also says the company achieved good earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation in the year and that £1,170,690 of extra cash was generated.
The directors described the sales of just over £14 million as being “strong” in a challenging year when they were down £2m on the previous 12 months.
Pre-tax losses widened to £715,370 from £90,064 previously.
The company continues to fully fund a research and development facility off the M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow to develop its electroplating expertise. Operating costs were £406,146 in the last financial year.
The strategic report says Interplex PMP’s exports into the EU and intercompany loans denominated in Euros were affected by the pound-Euro exchange rate during the year – leading to losses of £66,907 compared to losses of £136,712 previously.
The company is continuing to take steps to mitigate its exchange-rate exposure.
The directors go on: “We are satisfied with our liquidity position despite our significant investment in new plant and machinery and the reduced trading activity towards the end of the year due to Covid issues.
“The company has maintained its excellent reputation for service levels and quality in the market and continues to develop alliances with existing and new customers who recognise the unique advantages of our company.
“We have won exciting new programme awards from our customers, which will generate substantial extra revenues in the years ahead.
“Since the balance sheet date, sales activity has almost returned to pre-Covid levels and cash generation has been excellent. Further to this, the company has suffered minimal disruption as a result of Brexit.
“The directors are optimistic about our prospects for the year ahead.”
Around £9m has been invested by Interplex PMP on the Arbroath site in the last 10 years and there are plans for a building extension for a plating line which makes use of new chemistry.
The roots of the Angus business go back to 1968.