Trifast has posted profit growth in its preliminary results for the financial year ended 31 March 2016.
TR’s revenue rose to £161.4m from £154.7m, while underlying profits before tax grew to £16m from £14.3m in the previous year.
The UK produces 40% of the group’s revenue. TR said it was a solid year’s trading despite a slight revenue decrease of 2% (£1.3m). Underlying operating margins increased 9.6% (8.9% in 2015) with a £0.3m increase in profitability at the underlying operating profit level. TR said it had seen a record number of enquiries logged onto its portal in 2015/2016.
Operational highlights included the acquisition and integration of Kuhlmann, Germany. The company added that its core strategy paid off with a 3% organic increase in sales to multinational OEMs. Other highlights included the launch of the new TR Fastenings site – www.trfastenings.com.
The UK statement said: “After a good start to the year, we witnessed a slight softening in customer demand. Actual results have shown a marginal improvement in the last quarter, with higher sales starting to come back through at our Scotland and Uckfield sites. Belfast continued its rapid growth phase for the second year running.
“Our transactional and EU distributor sales teams have also enjoyed growth this year, although some margins were impacted through foreign exchange.”
TR recently undertook an efficiency consolidation of sites in Uckfield/Poole and the Midlands as well as the roll-out of Lean-Lift technology (automated ‘fast pick’ vertical storage machines) which have aided profitability which, coupled with a foreign exchange gain, led to a 70bps increase in the underlying operating margin year-on-year. A roll-out programme is planned for installing further Lean-Lifts into the hubs. Through ‘dead space’ utilisation and a reduction in travel and picking times, this should allow the firm to grow its business without the need for extra premises or people, TR said.
The UK management team said they were optimistic regarding future opportunities: “The overall UK industrial fastener market is worth £1.2bn, £600m of which is estimated to be comparable to our business with TRUK currently having around a 10% market share. As the result of our investment for growth strategy, we have employed additional resource within sales, telemarketing, engineering and supplier development, making us well positioned to capitalise on further prospects.
“With planned investment for growth and 90% of the market still to go for, we look forward to what the future can bring.”
TR appointed Kevin de Stadler as Director of Sales for UK & Ireland in May, responsible for delivering strategy, sales management and leadership, new business development and key account management within the UK.
TR has eight UK locations, with Trifast plc’s head office based in Uckfield, East Sussex.