Sales at the Fife division of global industrial pigments group Silberline fell by more than £5 million in 2020.
The Leven firm saw its turnover drop by nearly a quarter – from £21.5m to £16.3m.
Newly published accounts show the American-owned group’s Leven operation, Silberline Limited, reported pre-tax losses of more than £1.3m to December 31 2020.
The company is a subsidiary of Indiana-based Silberline Manufacturing Company.
It provides aluminium effect pigments that are used in a range of applications, including car and lorry production, printing inks and protective coatings.
Silberline affected by Covid-19
Director Gary Karnish said the firm had felt the impact of the pandemic.
He said it has also made future planning difficult.
In his strategic report within the accounts, he said: “Covid-19 significantly impacted the results of the business in 2020, in particular in quarters two and three.
“This was due to decreased demand across all markets.
“Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is difficult to make confident predictions about the results of 2021.
“Nevertheless, it is believed that the range and quality of the products and services that the company offers will enable satisfactory financial results in 2021.”
Mr Karnish said the firm had also experienced “short-term logistical delays” as a result of Brexit.
Set up in 1945, the company remains in family ownership and has a global reach with facilities in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Silberline is run by Lisa Jane Scheller, granddaughter of the founder Ernest Scheller, and is one of the largest female owned manufacturing firms in the US.
The largest share of turnover for the firm was from Europe – at £11.7m. That was down from £13.4m the year before.
The UK market brought the firm £966,000 of sales and the rest of the world, £3.6m.
Mr Karnish said: “The sector in which the company operates is a globally priced competitive market.
“The company mitigates the risk by ensuring that it provides high-quality products and building global relationships with its customers through customer service and technical support.”
Silberline will continue to invest
The firm’s headcount at its Leven base has also fallen from about 150 in 2019 to 136.
That is mainly due to a reduction in 18 production staff, from 126 to 108.
Silberline’s staff at the Fife facility is also made up of one director, 10 in distribution and 17 in administration.
Despite its sales drop, Mr Karnish was optimistic about the future despite an “uncertain” 2021.
He said: “However, the company remains confident that it will achieve a profitable performance in the future.”
Mr Karnish said the company would continue to invest to ensure it met the demands of customers.