"Remarkable turnaround" hailed as turnover passes £10 million and profits increase at Stirling Dynamics
Turnover and profits are up and growth is accelerating at advanced engineering specialist Stirling Dynamics which saw revenue pass the £10m mark for the first time in its 30-year history.
The just-released figures for the Bristol-based company also show a remarkable increase in export sales which now account for over 82% of its turnover.
Founded in 1987, Stirling Dynamics has carved itself a reputation as a leading provider of complex technical engineering services and state-of-the-art control system technology into the global aerospace, marine and training and simulation markets.
The company enjoyed steady growth until 2014 when it took on private equity investment from Enact, the SME fund which is part of Endless LLP. This investment provided the boost for the company to grow despite the downturn in the European aerospace market.
Three years later, under a refreshed management team headed by Executive Chairman Mark Cook, and a refocused business development strategy targeting both established and emerging markets, Stirling is now stronger than ever, underlined by its latest turnover figure of £10.1 million, up 34% from last year's £7.5 million.
Stirling Dynamics' profits before tax came to £1.2 million, an increase on the previous year of 86.5%.
"We demonstrably have world-leading technology products and services and are true innovators in the market," said Mark Cook "Our achievements in recent years make us the envy of our competitors here in the UK and worldwide.
"In the last year, we have focused on developing new flight-worthy technology, for example, we developed and designed a hydro-mechanical primary flight control actuator for a client in South Korea.
"Even as a relatively small company, we are seen as a valued partner in the global marketplace supplying leading-edge technology into aerospace and defence programmes all over the world, including active side sticks and throttles to Lockheed Martin's flight simulators for the F-35, the world's most advanced fighter jet."
Turning to Stirling Dynamics' business performance Mark Cook said: "Our focus on improving our performance has occurred on all fronts, including profitability, cash generation, investment in infrastructure, business development into international markets and retention of existing key customers."
He added: "Our comprehensive three-year plan, which is designed to keep us at the forefront of developing active control technologies whilst making inroads into emerging global markets, demonstrates these trends will continue for the foreseeable future."
Stirling Dynamics key highlights from the last 12 months are the growth in the design of flight-worthy systems for helicopters and fast jets; growth in international markets, notably in the USA and Far East (exports now account for over 82% of turnover), a continued increase in new customers resulting from a more pro-active and strategic approach to business development, increased global market presence achieved by attendance of more trade-shows, conferences and exhibitions, roll-out of new company website and branding, increase in funding into the next generation of simulation products and modelling toolsets, business management transformation award received from the British Venture Capital Association in recognition of the company's achievements and export and International Business Award received in recognition of the company's significant and sustained international growth.
Addressing the issue of Brexit and how that might pose a risk to Stirling's continued strong growth, Mark Cook commented: "The uncertainty over Brexit is being managed successfully by us through maintaining a strong and growing order book outside of the EU, as demonstrated by the fact more than 80% of our turnover is now made up by exports outside the EU.
"Maintaining and developing long-term strategic relationships with these customers is imperative and will underpin all our focus for the coming years."
He added: "By any standard, we have witnessed a remarkable turnaround from just a few years ago which is a testament to the hard work of everyone connected to Stirling."