Friday 15 October 2010

Weston Body Hardware Notches Up Record Sales and Profit

Despite tough economic global conditions Redditch-based access control manufacturer Weston Body Hardware has recorded the greatest monthly sales figures in its 26 year history.

The company achieved sales of £809,000 for the month of September, up 22 per cent on August’s figures. Ashley Heath, Sales & Marketing Director for WBH, commented: “Year on year growth is currently running at 29% and we are predicting it will hit 40% by the end of this year.

“Growth is coming from all markets with Australia, the United States and the UK particularly buoyant. Our order book is three times what it was 12 months ago thanks to a combination of factors – the diversity of our markets and products; the growth of the power generation market and our global distributor network seeing a return to better times.

“We have been recruiting additional staff and investing in tooling to win new contracts. There is a real buzz about the place,” he said.

The reversal in the company’s fortunes is nothing short of remarkable. In 2008 the world recession began to really bite and confidence was already low when the global banking crisis erupted. WBH, part of the Metalrax Group, made the tough but necessary decision to cut the workforce by 30% to 60 employees in response to a fall in demand across its core markets.

Roy Sims, Chief Executive of WBH commented: “The cuts were severe but necessary as our customers fortunes were declining rapidly and, as a result, our order book pipeline slumped. It was better to undertake major surgery to protect the company and the majority of employees, than coming back and implementing ‘death by a thousand cuts’ which would have inevitably led to more job losses.

“The workforce has been truly remarkable and even retrained over a 12 month period in order for us to meet other opportunities in the renewable energy sector, securing a major contract from Evance to make wind turbine assemblies for the Evance Iskra R9000, a small wind turbine designed to capture more energy at lower wind speeds.”

WBH continues to serve its core business providing access controls solutions to a wide variety of industries including vehicles (off road and highway), large enclosures for units such as generators and compressors, capital plant and a wide variety of smaller industries through its extensive range of products.

It manufactures an extensive range of high quality and robust innovative products including all type of handles, locks, latches and hinges; and more specialist products like steering column locks and fuel filler locks.
Roy Sims concluded: “There is no doubt that 2011 is going to be a difficult year for British industry as whole, but we have taken all necessary steps to squeeze out unwanted costs from the business and are now lean and hopefully well placed to ride out any further blips on the horizon.”