Growth continues at Mettis

Specialist forging company may expand overseas.

Turnover has edged toward £70m and pre-tax profit has almost doubled at private equity-backed components maker Mettis Aerospace, which counts Airbus and Rolls-Royce among its clients. Chief executive Gordon Fraser hailed the performance as "tremendous" and told Insider the business is now looking to open further facilities and acquire companies across the globe to meet demand.

Redditch-headquartered Mettis was bought from Saints Chamonix by Stirling Square Capital Partners in February 2016, with its management team co-investing as part of the deal.

The group is now looking to open a facility in Bangalore, India, and is exploring acquisition opportunities in Northern Europe and the US.

"We will be opening a facility in India early next year to support our existing client base," Fraser said. "The expansion will help meet our customer demand in the supply chain."

Newly filed accounts revealed turnover climbed to £67.9m in the year to 31 December 2016, up from £60.1m a year earlier. Pre-tax profit for the period was £5.6m compared to £2.9m in 2015.

A statement accompanying the accounts added that sales growth was down to the introduction of new products and "favourable" exchange rates sparked by the Brexit vote.

However chief financial officer Phil Taylor said the weakness of sterling is just one element of the UK's decision to leave the EU.

"Overall as a management team we would rather have stayed in the EU," he said. "However, the aerospace market is a global one and the majority of our customers are outside of the UK. We've not seen any direct impact on our order book."

Fraser added that the figures for 2016 represent "the best operating results Mettis has ever had in its history". Revenues are expected to grow by a further 15 per cent in 2017.

"We're seeing our order book grow and it's put us in a very strong position," he said. "We will support that growth with the new facility in India and new acquisitions will geographically support our customers.

"Our headquarters will be at its optimum in the next three to four years, which is good news for Redditch."

Mettis started life in the 1930s as High Duty Alloys. It moved to Redditch in 1938 to support the war effort and Spitfire programme.

It now employs more than 500 staff at its 1.2 million sq ft base on Windsor Road in Redditch and is one of the largest employers in the town.

Source: Insider Media